Global architecture studio Woods Bagot has appointed Jodi Archer as the new leader of its aviation division for New Zealand and Australia. Archer’s primary focus will be the design and development of Western Sydney International Airport (WSI), Australia’s newest aviation hub.
“It’s exciting to be a part of realizing this exceptional infrastructure project,” said Archer. “The impact it will have on people’s lives in Western Sydney and in Australia will be deeply felt.”
Before joining Woods Bagot, Archer worked as a senior designer for Cox Architecture, where she led the stakeholder engagement for WSI’s original reference design, with responsibility for customer incentives, passenger flows, operational requirements and delivery of the main works contract. She also provided the airport’s site-wide design guidelines.
“To build an airport on a greenfield site and draw on my experience of the past 15 years was too good an opportunity not to follow the project to Woods Bagot,” added Archer. “I don’t know how I could top it, to work in this industry in Australia, on my home turf.”
In the seven years before she joined the WSI project, Archer was a design manager at Sydney Airport, where she worked closely with multiple stakeholders to understand and support the airport’s functional needs. Her success in the aviation and transportation sectors is underpinned by a non-biased, holistic design approach and draws on her wider experience in public space, retail, commercial, health and brand identity. Commenting on her past experience, Archer said, “Aviation wasn’t a door I went looking for, but when it opened, I jumped right through. I enjoy the immense complexity of it, the problem-solving and all the parts that need bringing into alignment. The way the airport’s design is being developed around people – the passengers, visitors and airport staff – was especially compelling; it’s a key reason I’m here.”
James Berry, director and global aviation leader, Woods Bagot, added, “We’re delighted Jodi has joined Woods Bagot to take a lead role on Western Sydney International, and build the aviation sector across Australia and New Zealand. Jodi joins the growing Woods Bagot aviation team currently delivering projects in three continents and recently appointed for the new concourse at LAX and airside terminal expansion at Seattle.”
Construction work got underway on the new WSI terminal in November 2021 following a major earthworks program that saw the transfer of more than 20,000,000m3 of soil. Airport operator Western Sydney Airport aims for the terminal to become a destination in its own right, with specialty retail, restaurants and cafés as well as an outdoor plaza to host events. Its design will pay homage to more than 60,000 years of Aboriginal Australian culture.
Sustainability is a key consideration, with the terminal designed to bring in natural light and reduce carbon emissions. The terminal roof will generate solar electricity and harvest rainwater, and sustainable and recycled materials will be used throughout.
The project is on track to open to international, domestic and air cargo services in late 2026. Simon Hickey, CEO of Western Sydney Airport, commented, “This will be Australia’s best airport terminal, with world-leading technology, innovative design and excellent customer service coming together to set a new benchmark for what Australians will expect when they fly. At Western Sydney International, we’ll get passengers on their way sooner, whether that’s getting to your meeting on time or arriving home to loved ones.
According to Hickey, every element of the airport is being designed to deliver the most seamless and reliable experience for customers, from the design of the gates to the cutting-edge baggage handling system. “We’re aiming to make the anxious wait around the baggage carousel a thing of the past,” he said. “Our baggage system will give passengers the option to track their bags via an app so they know exactly when they will arrive. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build an airport from the ground up, with consideration not only for emerging technologies such as air taxis but also technology that has yet to be imagined.”