Barajas Airport, Madrid

Twice the size of Heathrow’s Terminal 5, the terminal complex at Madrid Barajas Airport is an ambitious and architecturally striking development. The terminal and satellite consist of over 1.1million m² of space, spread over 6 floors, three of which are below ground. The terminal building is some 1.2km long and is capped by an amazing wing shaped roof which has significant overhangs to provide natural shading. Within the buildings are canyons - gaps between elements of accommodation - that allow natural light to flood down through the building creating an amazing internal space which is also far more intuitive in terms of way finding for the approx. 35 million passengers per year.

Faithful+Gould was part of the design consortium for the project working for the client AENA (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea - Spanish Airports and Air Navigation), including: Richard Rogers Partnership, Estudio Lamella, Antony Hunt, TPS and others. Faithful+Gould provided a number of different services including design management, bi-lingual cost estimating and planning, specification writing, priced and quantified bills of quantities produced in the Spanish cost system ‘Presto’. For 3 months at the end of the project the Faithful+Gould team, including staff from our Spanish affiliate, were based at the RRP office working with the consortia.

The challenges were: Working in the Spanish language and using the Spanish estimating system, short timeframes considering such a large project and working with an international team. The airport was designed, procured and built in a very short time frame (started after Heathrow Terminal 5 but completed before). It was built on a lower budget than many other airports and won the Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize in 2006.

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