Foster + Partners to add “missing piece” to Richard Rogers’ Marseille airport extension

UK architect Foster + Partners is to add another airport to its battle honours after winning a competition to design an extension of Marseille Airport. 

According to Foster + Partners, the design will restore the "clarity of layout and expression in Fernand Pouillon’s 1960s original while adding the ‘missing piece’ to Richard Rogers’ 1992 extension by tying the ensemble of buildings together".

Phase I of the project will create a "cœur", or heart, that will house the arrival and departure areas within a single building. This will be a 22m-high glazed hall clad in stainless-steel with an inverted beam roof and glass skylight to bringing natural light and air into the building.

Departing passengers will pass through security screening on the first floor, overlooking the arrivals level below.

Phase II will add a pier with 12 aerobridges. To reduce the impact on day-to-day airport operations, the structure will be mainly prefabricated offsite and erected on a fast-track schedule.

It is hoped that the scheme will allow the airport to serve up to 12 million passengers a year, in addition to those using the budget MP2 terminal.

Grant Brooker, Foster’s head of studio, said: "Marseille airport has grown extensively and incrementally over the past 60 years.

"Our goal is to design a generous pavilion that reconnects all parts of the existing buildings, simplifying the flow of people between them and creating a new welcoming gateway to the region."

Foster + Partners is often credited with setting the design template for modern airports with its work on Stansted in the UK, completed in 1991. Since then it has worked on a number of other major projects, including Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong, Capital Airport in Beijing and the forthcoming New International Airport at Mexico City.

Images courtesy of Foster + Partners

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