Grimshaw creates a new master plan for Frankfurt
A new vision for the existing forecourt area at Frankfurt Airport's Terminal 1 has recently been unveiled by Grimshaw. The completed detailed master plan study envisages a new concept which brings in light, greenery and fresh air into the heart of the airport.
The current forecourt at Frankfurt Terminal is composed of a 1 kilometre long strip of private and public transport modes which has no sense of order. In addition there is no hiding from the noise and fumes of associated vehicles which pollute the space. Grimshaw's design seeks to reorder forecourt traffic to create a more user friendly environment. As a result a large central public space has been created, with a series of smaller amenity spaces distributed along its length.
While the forecourt is an urban environment, the site is bordered by an area of striking greenery. The surrounding forest landscape has become inspiration for the design, with dense planting at the forecourt edges becoming progressively more urban and controlled towards the centre. A delicate canopy over-sails the entire space, providing shelter from the elements and dappled sunlight within, whilst allowing fresh air to circulate.
Using creative design solutions, the master plan has been designed to embrace the challenges presented by the site. The forecourt comprises two stories of densely packed mixed-mode traffic which sits over a retail concourse. Grimshaw has developed a strategy to allow the majority of new forecourt loads, from bridges or the canopy, to be brought down in new columns. This solution limits invasive structural work in the retail and rail environments and allows facilities to remain fully operational throughout the redevelopment of the forecourt.
The logistics and phasing of construction within a busy airport environment was fundamental to the development of the canopy structure. A small, self-stable construction module was defined for the canopy, allowing maximum flexibility in canopy phasing and eliminating the need for temporary bracing of the structural frame. The structural module is clad in large, prefabricated, self finished panels, accelerating construction and minimising work at height.
Speaking about the masterplan, Grimshaw Partner Andrew Thomas said: ‘Given the importance of the forecourt in defining a passenger's first and last impression of the airport, the ambition of our design strives to create an environment that inspires its users, and which the client and passengers alike can be proud of. We've sought to provide a solution that balances functionality with a striking new identity which provides a contrast to the linearity of the existing space.'