For the enlargement of the airport there is hardly any space available. Logistic restrictions on the airside, existing buildings on the landside – one of them being a IATA premise that needs to continue overlooking the airstrip -, fixed connecting points to the main airport building, and the need to maintain the use of the site as an actual road, together form a true straitjacket for the new building. On the other hand, the terminal building needs to be of absolute clear organisation and future flexibility.
Our answer is a centipede-like organism, a bridge-building consisting of a 540 meter long, floating, transparent volume that frees the ground level as much as possible. It is flanked on both sides by a set of massive, vertical volumes. Where the airplanes taxi, these volumes contain aircraft accesses and they are placed at equal intervals. On the other side they are placed irregularly, as they follow restrictions coming from the adjacent buildings, as well as functional needs for non-continuous programs such as commercial kiosks, toilets and specific vertical circulations.
The horizontal volume consists of two embarkation levels and an arrival corridor that is suspended underneath, exactly at the level of aircraft access doors. The supporting vertical volumes, made in black concrete, liberate the ground as much as possible in order to give maximum space to airport buses, logistic services for the aircraft, luggage handling and the ‘route française’, a direct road between France and the airport. The floating volume is a construction in steel with both façades that act as interior trusses making the span between the concrete volumes. The fully glazed façades follow the diagonal steel structure and on airside the diamond-shaped glass panes are installed at various angles in order to better reflect the noise of the aircrafts.