Barcelona airport was subjected to a major remodeling operation in order to prepare for the leap in capacity from six million passengers a year to twelve million, with a similar doubling of the capacity for aircraft on the ground. The project included the installation of twelve telescopic gangways for direct boarding from terminal to plane. The solution adopted bears in mind the configuration of the runway and in particular of the apron, which had to be extended. The terminal building was designed with a linear layout, taking maximum advantage of the existing structure, with four modular triangular docking bays whose minimal projection onto the apron allowed this to be used to the fullest advantage. This linear solution, which was also determined by the position of the cargo terminal and the technical building, is reinforced by and element which emphasizes this linearity: and elevated pedestrian mall which groups together the modular elements, serves as the divider between ground side and air side, and makes for easy separation of national and international flights. International passengers use a building set slightly apart from the rest of the complex. One of the triangular modules has been specifically allocated to the shuttle service to and from Madrid. The airport’s modular design allowed it to be remodeled in stages, since it was clearly impossible to close the airport for any length of time. A new air-side façade was constructed to give an entirely glazed aspect to the modules and the elevated mall. Passengers waiting for their flight enjoy a privileged view of the aircraft taking off and landing. The triangular modules also have another waiting lounge on the ground floor for those passengers who will be bussed to board one of the planes stationed at a distance from the terminal. The elevated mall, the backbone of the airport, is the element of communication between all the different facilities. While the access time from street to plane has been reduced to a minimum, the elevated mall, inspired by Barcelona’s Ramblas, gives passengers waiting for their flight a place to stroll in and enjoy its various different settings. Entrance to the terminal buildings is at ground floor level, directly connecting with the car parks and access roads under their great canopies. Check-in and baggage collection are also located on the ground floor, with lifts and escalators for communication between floors. The rapid evolution of air-travel technology will make it necessary for all the world’s airports to be remodeled in the near future; however, this should not detract from the importance of detailed study of their architectural design, a crucial factor as far as the comfort of the passengers and the image of the city are concerned.
Client ministerio de transportes, turismo y telecomunicaciones
Gross area 100,000 m2
Consulting engineering: ove arup
Aeronautic engineering: naco
Structures & installations engineering: intecsa
Precasting: j.p.aury, g.lacombe xu
Lighting: p. Castiglioni