Heathrow Terminal 2 Officially Opened by HM Queen Elizabeth IIJune 2014
Heathrow Airport’s newest addition, Terminal 2 – The Queen’s Terminal, will be officially opened on 23rd June 2014 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Terminal 2 is designed as a world leading terminal building, an iconic building that is recognisable to passengers, providing a true gateway to Britain. The 200,000m2 five-storey terminal building provides 12 contact stands as well as coaching gate facilities to cater for around 20mppa.
Terminal 2A represents the next step in Heathrow’s transformation towards a leaner, far more efficient airport layout. The building form and planning emulates its predecessor Terminal 5 with additional emphasis placed on complimenting the internal planning processes. The building planning continues the master-planning ‘toast-rack’ approach to buildings between the two runways, and allows for the future expansion of the terminal northwards.
Having gained extensive experience at Heathrow Airport over some 50 or so years, Pascall+Watson have played a major role in its continuous evolution and development. In this time, they have not only designed and delivered hundreds of projects at all of the terminals, but have also supported the airport in developing more efficient ways of working. The scale of the projects Pascall+Watson have undertaken ranges from small one-off office refurbishments, right through to the new builds Terminal 5 and Terminal 2A.
Interestingly, Pascall+Watson had worked extensively at the old Terminal 2 building. Major extensions landside and airside, as well as internal refurbishments afforded the building an extended life, but it reached a point where it could no longer cope with the technological advances of modern aviation and passenger throughput, so it had to be demolished to make way for the new Terminal 2A.
Terminal 2A represents a culmination of all Pascall+Watson’s Heathrow experience to date. Their experience enabled them to design a terminal environment that works efficiently, is calming to the passenger and celebrates the excitement of air travel. Undoubtedly the greatest influence on the internal environments at Terminal 2A has come from their recent work at Terminal 5, and progressive refurbishment projects at Terminals 3 and 4. Through these projects, they have developed and tested a number of different operational and material solutions to achieve Heathrow’s passenger-focussed objectives. This work has resulted in an architectural language that provides Heathrow with its 21st century identity, setting the benchmark for future projects in years to come.
Director Steve West commented, "We are delighted to have played a lead role in another major world-class terminal building. Terminal 2A raises the bar for Heathrow Airport and represents another major stepping stone in its transformation".
One of the key challenges facing Pascall+Watson was to respect the Luis Vidal designed roof geometry and develop the internal environments to reinforce intuitive flows. Pascall+Watson’s site-based team have created a series of spectacular transitional and dwell spaces that flow seamlessly together and enable intuitive passenger wayfinding. The layouts of spaces - both public-facing and back-of-house - follow clear, logical arrangements that seamlessly merge together. The undulating form of the terminal roof subtly defines the main transitional sequence for the departures journey: check-in - security - departure lounge. The arrivals sequence at the lower levels of the building is similarly well-defined, although uses more direct means to communicate to the passenger.
Pascall+Watson’s selection of bright, hard surfaces takes full advantage of the natural light that penetrates the very heart of the building. Many of the architectural systems deployed are evolutions of those which Pascall+Watson introduced across the rest of Heathrow Airport:
- Ceilings - ‘loose fit’ panel systems to provide visual interest to potentially bland expanses of ceiling. By designing considered gaps between panels, a stimulating yet ordered aesthetic is achieved.
- Wall Linings - all walls in main public areas feature a green or white opaque glass lining system, providing a very-high quality and durable surface finish.
- Floors - floors to main public spaces receive a conglomerate tile finish achieving a clean, efficient aesthetic that can withstand the rigours of the 24-hour airport traffic.
- Flight Information Displays (FIDS), Displacement Vent Terminals (DVTs), wayfinding beacons, signage posts, desks etc. are all evolutions of designs we have conceived elsewhere at the airport, developed to ensure they are the perfect fit for Terminal 2A.
Quality finishes and products have been carefully selected and detailed to ensure passengers experience a contemporary interior suitable for an airport environment. All products have consolidated building and passenger requirements to avoid visual clutter, with all service requirements fully integrated into the architecture. Combined, all design considerations and development, have focused on passengers experiencing a stress free and enjoyable journey.
Image courtesy of James Newton