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Foster + Partners selected as lead architect for Marseille Airport extension

Architectural firm Foster + Partners has won the design competition for the terminal extension at Marseille Provence Airport in the South of France. The project will expand the airport’s capacity, enabling it to serve up to 12 million passengers per year (excluding the MP2 terminal), future-proofing the development until 2046.

Phase I of the project will create a new terminal core that combines arrivals and departures within a single building to create an intuitive experience for passengers. The 22m (72ft)-high glazed hall, which echoes design elements of the original Fernand Pouillon building, will feature an inverted beam roof with a continuous grid of glass skylights. Clad with stainless steel, the skylights act as giant lanterns, bringing natural light and air deep into the building. Large indoor trees further help to create a relaxing environment.

Grant Brooker, head of studio, Foster + Partners, said, “Marseille Airport has grown extensively and incrementally over the last 60 years. Our goal is to design a generous pavilion that reconnects all parts of the existing buildings, simplifying the flow of people between them and creating a new welcoming gateway to the region. The new terminal features a panoramic terrace overlooking the airport and the landscape beyond, and is entirely top lit, capturing the bright Provençal sunlight and paying homage to the bold architectural spirit of Pouillon’s original building.”

The movement of passengers from landside to airside and vice versa follows a simple linear path. All departing passengers pass through security screening on the first floor, overlooking the arrivals level below. They then pass by a giant multimedia screen that spans the building, before entering a large open space filled with shops and restaurants, with tranquil seating areas surrounded by green trees. From here, there is a clear view of the aircraft and landing bays, with the lounges and panoramic terrace located on the upper levels.

Phase II will add an additional pier with 12 aerobridges, which will be largely prefabricated offsite, helping to limit the disruption to daily operations.

Images: Foster + Partners

Written by Daniel Symonds

November 24, 2017


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