The architectural team chosen to design the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport’s International Terminal has been announced, and has unveiled its winning design.
An architectural team consisting of London-based Zaha Hadid Architects and Cox Architecture in Sydney was selected as the winners of the terminal precinct design competition, following a competitive process which generated more than 40 design entrants.
To be considered for the design project, interested firms were required to have experience designing an airport of similar size and complexity to Western Sydney International in the past five years. The final decision on the winning design was made by a panel of some of Australia’s most renowned architects.
The winning concept passed a range of value-for-money and technical reviews before the final decision was made by a panel of some of Australia’s most renowned architects including Yvonne von Hartel, Peter Poulet and Kim Crestani.
The successful design focuses on the customer journey while paying tribute to the Western Sydney region and natural landscape. It passed a range of value-for-money and technical reviews.
“The brief was to design an airport that the people of Western Sydney can be proud of and provide a real sense of place that pays tribute to the natural landforms, history and features of Greater Sydney,” Western Sydney Airport CEO, Graham Millett, said.
“While the exterior of the terminal complements the natural landscape beautifully, we’ve always said that our focus was on the customer journey within the terminal and that really shines through in these concept designs.
“When passengers arrive, they’ll be greeted by a combination of landscaped gardens within in a grand public plaza that will offer a great choice of retail, dining and entertainment.
“When passengers enter the terminal they will be immersed in a uniquely Western Sydney International experience with soaring timber ceilings and stunning vertical gardens designed to provide an inviting and relaxing start to their journey.
“The layout of the terminal will come together with technology and outstanding customer service to give passengers a reliable, fun and stress-free airport experience.”
Sustainability was another key criterion and the winning design stood out for its expansive use of passive design, taking advantage of natural airflows and lighting and efficient solar shading.
ZHA Project Director, Cristiano Ceccato, said it was an honour to have been selected for the project and that the “design is an evolution of Australian architecture past, present and future”.
Cox Project Director, David Holm, said the design took inspiration from “the unique local flora of Western Sydney and the Great Australian Light to create an unmistakable regional identity”.
Zaha Hadid Architects designed the new Beijing Daxing International Airport and the Navi Mumbai International Airport. Cox Architecture are designing the Victoria Cross Station in Sydney and Western Sydney’s new Sydney Coliseum Theatre.
Mr Millett said the architects will now consult with groups across the community as they refine the initial concept design.
“We’re pleased the architectural team has already engaged Western Sydney University students and local Dharug community members during the initial concept design development and we’ll now be working closely with key government, industry and community stakeholders as we further refine and enhance the concepts to arrive at a final design,” he said.
A new gateway, locally and nationally
The design of the terminal precinct marks the next step in Western Sydney International taking shape, with major earthworks set to commence next year that will lead to the construction of runways, roads, rail and the terminal.
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said the designs showed the once-in-a-generation infrastructure project coming to life.
“This is set to be the largest gateway to Australia and these designs are another step to making it a reality,” Mr Morrison said.
“Designed alongside locals and built by local workers the airport will deliver massive economic benefits to the region.”
The appointment of the architectural design team and the first look at the terminal design is a major milestone in the delivery of the federally funded, $5.3 billion Western Sydney International.
The airport has committed to delivering 30 per cent of direct job opportunities to Western Sydney residents and is currently exceeding that target.
The design process also encouraged the demonstration on how local university students would be included on the design team.
Member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh, said designing an airport and working through concepts with local students is important.
“I am pleased to see that Zaha Hadid Architects and Australian architects Cox Architecture will work with Western Sydney University students, local Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders to further refine and enhance the concepts to arrive at the final design,” Ms McIntosh said.
“This is the first step in preparing our local kids for the jobs of the future by playing such an integral role through the design of the Airport. We know that post construction over 28,000 jobs will be created and we want our kids to take those opportunities.”
Western Sydney Airport is set to open in 2026 initially catering for up to ten million passengers per year.