Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal

Architect
KAAN Architecten

Estudio Lamela
Location
Schiphol, Netherlands | View Map
Project Year
2023
Category
Airports
Stories By
KAAN Architecten

Schiphol Real Estate
© Filippo Bolognese

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Terminal

KAAN Architecten as Architects

KL AIR is to design the large new terminal at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The Departures and Arrivals Hall that welcomes 14 million travellers a year will be ready in 2023. KL AIR is further supported by DGMR, Arnout Meijer Studio and Planeground. The design proposal submitted to the international competition scored the most points on all criteria. The inspiration behind the design is Schiphol itself and the ethos that has shaped the airport over the past 50 years: functionality, user overview and attention to detail, all well-integrated in an atmosphere of calmness, distinction and practicality. In what could be said to define the essence of Schiphol’s DNA, space, light and wide open views have been given priority over architectural form. The design submission defers to the airport’s sobriety and the ‘one terminal’ concept, including transfers free of check-out and check-in and automatic baggage transfers for passengers.


The understated Modernist glamour of the 1967 terminal fired the imagination, in particular the interior work of Dutch designer Kho Liang Ie (1927-1975). With this shining example in mind, the design proposal by KL AIR sets a new standard, appropriate for different times and different conditions. The building’s structure will be only minimally seen and appear as the most logical of bones. Not a single column will block the space. The façade columns and certain functional areas in the building will bear the load of the roof. Its openness will facilitate any future changes, which speaks of its architectural sustainability. The new terminal’s architectural quality is to be found in its layers of opposites: it is a practically organized and user-friendly place yet also offers a grand, atmospheric and light-filled space for a pleasant experience. The everyday and the extraordinary merge to create an exceptionally welcoming space.


The traveller experience is central to the design, both in individual and crowd terms. Overviews, ease of movement, natural daylight and a generous sense of space greet not only departing passengers, but arriving passengers too are given views, comfort and a pleasant spatiality. Rather than exiting onto a street somewhere under a flyover, arriving passengers will be streamlined after customs through a spacious hall for baggage reclaim, be treated to natural daylight and a view of the Departures Hall, and be welcomed to the urban outdoors at the Jan Dellaertplein facing Schiphol Plaza and the underground train station. Situated at the centre of the hall is a large plateau. Departing passengers will rise to the plateau level while those waving them off stay below. From the raised platform travellers will be surprised by the spaciousness of the terminal and the views afforded by the large glass façades, initially of the landside and, higher up, of the airside with its airplanes and extensive views of big skies and the polder landscape. After automatic baggage processing and the check-in desks, the security checks will take place in an area of warm wooden floors and large light wells filled with lush greenery, creating a more relaxed atmosphere.


Apart from creating a natural division of users, which helps to avoid unnecessary crowding, the raised Departures floor also creates another advantage. The plateau makes a dual-level intersection possible, so that both departing and arriving passengers can enjoy a scenic route through the terminal. The plateau furthermore gives leeway to baggage handling underneath it, which is an important aspect for Schiphol as a major stop-over airport.


The terminal’s ambiance, something that has a positive effect on people’s experience of the place, is largely determined by the light. The ceiling and roof of the high, central section is a veritable crown of light, spanning 180 x 150 meters and providing travellers with access to local light, day and night. It is a latticework of squares topped by glass panels and supported by mansized box girders that gradually change shape in the transition from wall to ceiling, creating openings that appear equally square.


Travellers can look out to the sky as though peering through an ultra-thin membrane. Tried and tested technical facilities inside the casings of the ceiling provide opportunities to vary the colour, nuance and optical effects of the light. The glazed frontage and the light-infused ceiling underscore the typically Dutch character of the terminal. And they embody the low horizons and big cloud-filled skies of those Dutch Golden Age paintings.


New terminal Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Schiphol Real Estate as Developers

Schiphol has chosen the design of KAAN Architecten in collaboration with ABT, Estudio Lamela and Ineco Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has chosen the design of KAAN Architecten for their new terminal. The new terminal will open in 2023 and will allow 14 million more passengers to travel through Schiphol annually. The new terminal is an expansion of Schiphol's existing terminal, making it possible to retain the one terminal concept. The consortium's innovative thinker is Arnout Meijer Studio from The Netherlands.


The expansion is required in order to strengthen the competitive position of Mainport Schiphol, to keep pace with the growth in aviation and to continue to enhance the position of ‘Europe’s preferred airport’ among both airlines and passengers.


Vooraanzicht nieuwe terminal - KAAN Amsterdam Airport Schiphol CEO Jos Nijhuis: "This design suits the Schiphol DNA. That was the main reason why the jury decided to choose this design. The design solution contributes to excellent processing, it provides optimal support to passengers, contributes to our sustainability ambitions and is future-proof. We are looking forward to welcoming airlines and passengers in the new terminal and adjacent new pier."


'Natural simplicity' KAAN Architecten: "The most inspiring architectural and planning DNA at Schiphol for our design team is that of the 1967 Departures Hall. DNA which is characterised by abundant daylight, simplicity of space and a substantial spatiality. It is particularly striking that materials and construction are so minimally conspicuous. The repetitions that defines the space – the row of columns, the information panels, the ticket kiosks, the façade ribs, the ceiling lamps – all contribute to a calming rhythm. This is the true essence of Schiphol’s DNA: functionality is a priority – an exacting rather than bare functionality – it is exacting in how the functionality embeds comfort, daily ease of use and a suitability of purpose. This leads to a natural simplicity."


One terminal concept The new terminal will form an expansion of Schiphol's existing terminal and will adjoin Departure Hall 1 and Arrival Hall 1. Keeping the buildings together allows Schiphol to retain the one terminal concept, and ensure that all the facilities are under one roof. The last time that Schiphol permanently expanded the terminal was in 1993, when the current Departure Halls 3 and 4 and Arrival Halls 3 and 4 were built.


Capital Programme Royal Schiphol Group is carrying out the expansion projects under the auspices of the project organisation known as the Capital Programme, which is able to coordinate and manage the various complex, large-scale projects in an optimal way. This is necessary, as the airport must continue to operate as it would normally during the construction and renovation work. The expansion also requires specific knowledge and experience. Schiphol has brought this expertise together in the Capital Programme.


Other design entries Capital Programme director Bernardo Gogna on behalf of the jury: “We, at the Capital Programme, were overwhelmed by the craftsmanship, the passion and the quality shown by all the design teams. It was an honour to receive them and to be inspired by their designs. We would like to thank all the participating design teams sincerely for their incredible effort and dedication. We also want to thank them for their contribution to the debate on the future of Schiphol and on aviation terminals.”

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