Home » BIG and HOK unveil timber design for new Zurich Airport dock

BIG and HOK unveil timber design for new Zurich Airport dock

by Sion Geschwindt
BIG and HOK unveil timber design for new Zurich Airport terminal

World renowned architecture firms BIG and HOK have won an international two-stage design competition to design Zurich airport’s Dock A, the largest dock of Zurich Airport in Switzerland. 

The design team also includes Zurich-based architect 10:8, engineering and consultancy firm Buro Happold, and Pirmin Jung, a Swiss engineering firm specialising in timber construction.

The design competition kicked off in 2020 to replace the ageing Dock A which has now reached the end of its life and has to be replaced.

Construction of the winning project, ‘Raumfachwerk’ is set to begin in 2030. The investment in the new Dock A, including a new tower and dock base, is estimated at about CHF700m (£585m).

The airport will be predominantly made of locally-sourced timber (credit: BIG)

“The ‘Raumfachwerk’ project was the most impressive, in particular in terms of sustainability, operations and the economic aspects, but also as regards urban planning and the architecture,” said Andreas Schmid, chairman of the board of directors of Flughafen Zürich.

The airport will be predominantly made of locally-sourced timber, while its main load-bearing system is based on V-shaped timber columns.

The whole surface of the new dock’s roof and the dock base will be covered with solar panels, providing around two thirds of the dock’s annual electricity requirement – making a major contribution to Zurich Airport’s Co2 reduction strategy.

Two thirds of the new dock will be powered by solar panels (credit: IMIGO)

Bjarke Ingels, founder and director of BIG, commented: “For Zurich Airport’s new Dock A, we tried to meet the complex global challenge of Co2 reduction with the simplest possible solution: A space framework made of solid timber that is structure, spatial experience, architectural design and organising principle all in one.

“The simple yet expressive design – rooted in tradition and committed to innovation – embodies the cultural and natural elements of Swiss architecture.”

The current Dock A will remain operational during construction of the new Dock A, as around one third of all passengers depart or arrive there.

Once the new dock has been built to the north of the current Dock A, operations will be transferred to it. The current Dock A will then be dismantled.

Main image: An artist’s impression of the exterior design of Dock A at Zurich Airport (credit: BIG)

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