International competition to design airBaltic Passenger Terminal invites online voting
Riga International Airport is currently the centre of a major global architectural competition. 125 projects from over 70 countries are going head to head in an effort to enhance passenger comfort and experience, as the existing facilities are unable to facilitate the 14m passenger that pass through the Latvian capital on an annual basis.
The images featured here show the concept design by Portuguese firm MSB Architects. The dynamic angular entrances and perforated panelled membrane attempt to define the terminal as a ‘landmark building', whilst the internal elements combine airline aspirations, national charisma, development, passenger flow and technical/operational requirements.
This set of diamonds has a unique expression, consistent with the concept, with the function, but also with the historical context of Riga and the own corporate identity of airBaltic. The scheme sets the terminal building in the middle of the two piers, demonstrating a strong connection with both of them; the continuous language of form, materials and expression shape both interior and exterior of the terminal.
The building lies on a fixed grid generated from the geometries found in Latvia's culture. This grid defines spaces and passenger routes that inter-play between the main body of the terminal and both piers. MSB believe that the diamond-like configuration and the diagonal grid are fundamental for the development of the terminal, where form is the result of the interior space obtained through a symbolic process.
The studies of the intricate patterns result in a strong geometry both in plan and elevation as if the airport would take shape from the patterns and emerge itself as a large scale sculpture. Faithful to this idea, both interior and external cladding panels have been cut out with a distinctive pattern that allows the smooth light to flood the interior of the airport.
Architects of this proposal are Portugal architects msb, and London architects from a.h.a.d.
The competition website is hosting an online vote on ten of the 125 projects until 5th November. A panel of architectural professionals will judge the complete set of entries to find a single winner.