New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2 to ‘give a sense of delight’ to passengers

Heathrow airport’s Terminal 2 is being redesigned by Spanish architects Luis Vidal + Architects (LVA) and UK practice Pascall + Watson., creating a space that echoes natural lighting conditions.

New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2
New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2

The terminal will reopen in June this year as part of a £2.5 billion development project to redevelop Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal.

The new look features undulating steel-framed roofing, controlling the flow of natural light to make the terminal Heathrow’s ‘most sustainable yet’, according to the airport.

Heathrow says the roof’s three large waves emphasise the three main parts of the passenger journey: check-in, security control and boarding.

It adds, that ‘natural light entering from the north penetrates the building and floods the floor plate at all times of the day’. This is achieved using a material coating the underside of the roof that helps bounce natural light during daytime hours, and that helps reflect artificial light at night.

New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2
New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2

Luis Vidal says, ‘In this sense we have used architecture to reduce the stress and anxiety related to the modern process of aviation.’

‘Terminal 2 contributes to gives a sense of delight and ease to passengers, which has been missing from air travel for too long. The generous use of natural light enhances the passenger experience: navigation is much more instinctive’.

The colours and lighting wil echo those of a typical day – ‘warm colours at sunset and sunrise, a cool blue at midday, and an indigo blue at night’, says Vidal.

New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2
New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2

LVA was appointed to the project five years ago, and has previously worked on airport design projects including Madrid Barajas Airport; the Zaragoza Airport, also in Spain; the new Warsaw International Airport.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow development director, says, ‘Terminal 2 has been designed with the passenger at the heart. Building on the success of Terminal 5, it will bring together technology, architecture and human touches.’

The new terminal design uses a modular system  ‘which allows faster construction and can sustain future growth’, says Heathrow, and the overall design is said to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40 per cent, compared to the buildings it replaces.

New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2
New designs for Heathrow Terminal 2

LVA is collaborating with Pascall + Watson during the fit out phase. Foster + Partners was the Heathrow Airport masterplanner and the East terminal building concept architect during the initial project phase.

Vidal says, ‘Airports are the cathedrals of the 21st century; they are the gateways to nations, and serve a public function. That is why they must look into the future and adapt themselves to changes and challenges.’

The new Terminal 2 will open in June, with a sculpture commission by Richard Wilson entitled Slipstream to be unveiled at the space in late April.

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