Western Sydney design revealed

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The design for Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport in Australia has been unveiled, with chief executive officer Graham Millett revealing that it is the work of a team consisting of London-based Zaha Hadid Architects and Cox Architecture in Sydney.

The terminal precinct design competition attracted more than 40 entrants. Millet explained, “The brief was to design an airport that the people of Western Sydney can be proud of and to provide a real sense of place that pays tribute to the natural landforms, history and features of Greater Sydney.”

“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 a grand public plaza that will offer retail, dining and entertainment.

“As they enter the terminal they will be immersed in a uniquely Western Sydney International experience with soaring timber ceilings and stunning vertical. The layout of the terminal will come together with technology and customer service to give passengers a reliable, 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, “We are honored to have been selected for this project. The design is an evolution of Australian architecture past, present and future. It draws inspiration from both traditional architectural features such as the veranda and the natural beauty of the surrounding bushland.”

David Holm, Cox project director, added, “The design took inspiration from the local flora of Western Sydney and its unique natural qualities such as the Australian light. These spaces, colors and materials have been incorporated into the design to give the project an unmistakable regional identity.”

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.

Millett explained that 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 concluded.

Western Sydney International will open in 2026, initially catering for up to 10 million passengers per year.

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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