Foster + Partners lands design for major new Polish airport

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Fosters’ conceptual designs for Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) Airport were reportedly chosen ahead of bids from teams including Zaha Hadid Architects, Perkins & Will, Weston Williamson + Partners, gmp International and KPF.

The firm will now begin work on completing a full concept by mid-2023, when construction is due to begin on the 3,000ha site between Warsaw and Łódź under a contract for 150 million euros with CPK.

The project aims to be completed in 2028, when CPK will become the main airport in the Polish capital, replacing Warsaw Chopin Airport, as well as being a major new transport interchange for road and rail passengers.

The Polish program is the latest to be added to Fosters’ aerospace portfolio. In 2019, the top-ranked cabinet AJ100 won the contract to design a new “eco-responsible” Red Sea airport serving a luxury hotel in Saudi Arabia. A year later, the architect revealed plans for another international airport in the same country, this time for the resort town of Amaala.

Fosters studio head Grant Brooker said the firm was “proud and delighted to be chosen by CPK as the designers for this project”, which when completed will “create a blueprint for the future of design in fully integrated transport”.

He added: ‘[This] project will completely revolutionize travel across the country and beyond. The vision of the woven architectural form is deliberately and strongly expressed.

“It could shape the building and guide passengers through its spaces, while serving as a powerful symbolic reference to Poland’s rich cultural heritage and the united strength of its people.”

CPK Airport will be Poland’s main gateway for arrivals

Source: Foster + Partners

Early proposals for CPK include a central terminal housing air, rail and road connections, which Fosters says will be filled with greenery and natural light. The concept also offers opportunities for future expansion of the airport and transportation hub, in part through a proposed design for two terminals that would be linked by a light rail system.

Initially, only the main terminal will be built, leaving the second terminal for a later date – depending on passenger numbers, which CPK estimates at 40 million per year from 2028.

This number is expected to reach 65 million per year by 2060, according to a target set by the CPK, also known as the Solidarity Transport Hub.

Fosters’ involvement in the project comes nearly two years after retired from the Architects Declare movementwhich urged architects to abandon airport design work because of the high environmental cost of building new airports and of air travel as a whole.

The architects say they accuse working practices in aviation of “seriously undermining the efficiency and credibility” of the organization. He also called for “these practices either to join the wave of positive change or to have the integrity to step back.”

His stand led both Fosters and Zaha Hadid Architects – who have both submitted proposals for CPK Airport – stepping back from Architects Declare, Fosters founder Norman Foster said: “Since our founding in 1967 we have pioneered a green agenda and believe that aviation, like any other sector, needs the most sustainable infrastructure to fulfill its purpose.

Fosters previously worked at London Stansted Airport, Beijing International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport.

Earlier this week, Norman Foster, founded by Foster + Partners, returned to Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) to give a guest lecture to its current architecture students.

During his speech, Foster said: “Sustainability has been a cornerstone of the practice for me since the 1960s. It has grown, of course, since then, and it is very well known to the public .

“Everyone is aware of the implications of global warming, carbon footprints and responsible design. But it’s always been, I think, an ideal pursuit in terms of saving energy and being associated with a better quality of life for everyone.


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