T2 on track for June 4 opening

T2 cgiHeathrow’s Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal by Luis Vidal + Architects will open as planned on 4 June 2014, when a United Airlines flight from Chicago is scheduled to land at the new building in the early morning.

slipstreamThe new Terminal 2 will be home to 22 Star Alliances airlines as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings carriers. The £2.5 billion development has taken five years to complete and includes the main Terminal 2 building, which is home to a monumental new sculpture – Slipstream (right), to be unveiled officially on April 23 – inspired by the world of aviation by artist Richard Wilson.

Luis Vidal has worked on the Madrid Barajas Airport; the Zaragoza Airport, also in Spain; the new Warsaw International Airport, as well as nine other international airport projects.

Consistent with many of Vidal’s previous airport designs, Terminal 2 will be characterised by a bold undulating steel-framed roof. The roof will feature three large waves emphasising the three main parts of the passenger journey: check-in, security control and boarding. The roof orientation contributes to passenger perception and comfort inside the terminal by providing consistent and steady light quality. Natural light entering from the north penetrates the building and ­floods the fl­oor plate at all times of the day. The underside of the roof is covered with a material which helps bounce natural light during the day and assists the refl­ection of artificial light at night.

Additionally, the striking roof design will support the environmental credentials of the building. By orienting the roof to the north, it provides a generous presence of natural light, while also benefiting from a reduction in solar gain and energy consumption. As Heathrow’s most sustainable terminal yet, Terminal 2 reduces CO2 emissions by 40% compared to the buildings it replaces and will be the UK’s first airport to be awarded a BREEAM rating for its sustainable building design.

Foster + Partners were the Heathrow Airport master planners and the East terminal building concept architects during the initial project phase.

Terminal 2 is one of the UK’s largest privately funded construction projects. All the investment at Heathrow has been funded by Heathrow Airport Ltd, without any cost to the taxpayer. By the time of opening in June 2014, approximately 35,000 people will have worked on the project with as many as 5,000 people a day on-site at its peak.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Development Director, said: “Terminal 2 has been designed with the passenger at the heart. Building on the success of Terminal 5, it will bring together technology, architecture and human touches.

Our goal is to make every journey better for our passengers and bringing together 25 airlines in this light and airy space is just one more step in the transformation of Heathrow.”

Luis Vidal commented “Airports are the Cathedrals of the 21st Century; they are the gateways to nations, and serve a public function. That is why they must look into the future and adapt themselves to changes and challenges.

Putting passengers first and making it easy for airlines and workers have been our drivers at Heathrow; but above all, making it welcoming and comfortable; pragmatic and functional; flooded with natural light and providing for intuitive orientation for everyone.”

Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance commented “In June this year we will ring in a new era for our customers, member carriers and employees at London Heathrow. The purpose built Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal – will be our home and will offer a superior travel experience to our customers, create new business opportunities for our member carriers and provide an improved working environment for employees.”

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