Stansted Airport Building, London, Architects, Architecture, Image, Design
Stansted Airport, London : Building
Architecture in Essex, England, UK – design by Foster + Partners
Stansted Airport Building
Date built: 1985-91
Architect: Norman Foster, Foster + Partners
Stansted Airport London
Location: Uttlesford District, Essex – northeast of London
Structural Engineer: Ove Arup & Partners
Approx. cost: £400m
Stansted Airport challenged all the rules of airport terminal design. It went back to the roots of modern air travel and literally stood conventional wisdom on its head, according to the architects.
The earliest airport buildings were very simple: on one side there was a road and on the other a field where aircraft landed into the wind. The route from landside to airside involved a walk from your car through the terminal and out to your plane, which was always in view. Stansted attempted to recapture the clarity of those early airfields, together with some of the lost romance of air travel.
From the traveller’s point of view, movement through the building is straightforward and direct – there are none of the level changes and orientation problems that characterise most airports. Passengers progress in a fluid movement from the set-down point through to the check-in area, passport control and departure lounges, where they can see the planes. From there, an automated tracked transit system takes them to satellite buildings to board their aircraft.
This degree of clarity was achieved by turning the building ‘upside down’, banishing the heavy environmental services usually found at roof level to an undercroft that runs beneath the concourse. The undercroft also contains baggage handling and was able to accommodate a mainline railway station, which was integrated into the building late in the design process.
Stansted Airport design : Foster + Partners, Architects, London
Service distribution systems are contained within the ‘trunks’ of the structural ‘trees’ that rise from the undercroft through the concourse floor. These trees support a roof canopy that is freed simply to keep out the rain and let in light. Entirely daylit on all but the most overcast of days, the constantly changing play of light gives the concourse a poetic dimension and also has significant energy and economic advantages, leading to running costs that are half those of any other British terminal. Energy efficient, environmentally discreet within its rural setting, technologically advanced yet simple to use and experience, Stansted has become a model for airport planners and designers worldwide.
Stansted Airport Photos © Adrian Welch / Isabelle Lomholt
To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.
Architecture in London
London Architecture Designs – chronological list
Stansted Airport Cross Rail, Essex, UK – design proposal
Architect: Avery Associates
image from architects
Key Norman Foster buildings in London
Albion Riverside, Wandsworth
Asprey, Bond St
British Museum Great Court
Faculty Building, Imperial College London
Foster and Partners Studio
London Bridge City – More London
Wembley Stadium Redevelopment
Selected architectural designs by Foster + Partners:
London Millennium Bridge
photograph © Nick Weall
Heathrow Airport Hotel
image : Foster + Partners
London Airport Architecture
Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, west London
Stansted Airport images available upon request: photos 1280×1024 pixels, 72dpi
Stansted Airport architects : Foster + Partners
Website: Visit London
Hong Kong Airport – design by Norman Foster
Comments / photos for the Stansted Airport Architecture page welcome
Stansted Airport Building London