Grimshaw Architects recently announced their completion for a detailed masterplanning study for Fraport, which provides a new vision for the existing forecourt area at Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1. Using creative design solutions, the masterplan embraces the challenges presented at the site by bringing light, greenery, and fresh air into the heart of the airport. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The current forecourt at Frankfurt Terminal 1 is a kilometer long strip of private and public transport modes, that has no sense of order and no respite from the noise and fumes of associated vehicles. Grimshaw’s design seeks to reorder forecourt traffic to create a large central public space, with a series of smaller amenity spaces distributed along its length.
While the forecourt is an urban environment, the site is bordered by an area of striking greenery. The surrounding forest landscape has inspired the design of the forecourt, with dense planting at the forecourt edges becoming progressively more urban and controlled towards the centre. A delicate canopy also oversails the entire forecourt, providing shelter from the elements, dappled sunlight within and allowing fresh air to circulate.
The forecourt comprises two stories of densely packed mixed-mode traffic, sitting over a retail concourse, itself arranged over a local rail station. Grimshaw developed a strategy to allow the majority of new forecourt loads, from bridges or the canopy, to be brought down in new columns. This solution limits invasive structural work in the retail and rail environments and allows facilities to remain fully operational throughout the redevelopment of the forecourt.
The logistics and phasing of construction within a busy airport environment was fundamental to the development of the canopy structure. A small, self-stable construction module was defined for the canopy, allowing maximum flexibility in canopy phasing and eliminating the need for temporary bracing of the structural frame. The structural module is clad in large, prefabricated, self finished panels, accelerating construction and minimizing work at height.
Speaking about the masterplan, Grimshaw Partner Andrew Thomas said: ‘Given the importance of the forecourt in defining a passenger’s first and last impression of the airport, the ambition of our design strives to create an environment that inspires its users, and which the client and passengers alike can be proud of. We’ve sought to provide a solution that balances functionality with a striking new identity which provides a contrast to the linearity of the existing space.’