Foster reveals design for Cambodia’s Techno Takhmao airport

Foster’s trademark diagrid comes in an usually “warm and welcoming” form at the Techno airport’s terminal (Foster + Partners)
UK architect Foster + Partners has unveiled its designs for the Techo Takhmao International Airport, which is being built south of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

As well as the airport itself, the firm’s competition-winning entry included plans for an airport city.

The terminal building comprises a central structure with two aerofoil shaped piers either side.

The centre contains all the passenger processing, security and retail elements under a single overarching roof canopy, which is supported by structural trees.

These span 36m and support a lightweight steel grid shell, the latest iteration of a structural approach Foster pioneered at the UK’s Stansted Airport in 1991. This version comes with a screen that filters daylight to light the interior.

The design was inspired by Cambodian vernacular forms and the material palette favours “warm and welcoming” surfaces as well as “lush greenery” and mature trees.

The two piers are sufficient for a passenger throughput of 13 million. Later stages will extend this to 30 million (Foster + Partners)

Nikolai Malsch, senior partner with the architect, commented: “Inspired by Cambodia’s history and built heritage, the terminal’s design stands as a modern embodiment of Cambodian culture. The terminal roof is an expression of lightness and inherent modularity, serving as a symbolic gateway for every traveller’s journey.”

According to the architect, the airport will be “almost entirely” run on energy generated by an onsite photovoltaic farm.

The $1.5bn scheme is being funded by bonds issued by the Cambodia Airport Investment Company. This funding solution was chosen after the China Development Bank revoked a 2018 deal to advance a $1.1bn loan.

The terminal is being built by China Construction Third Engineering, a subsidiary of China State Construction Engineering. The runways and taxiways are being handled by the Shanghai Baoye Group, a subsidiary of Metallurgical Corporation of China.

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