Cox Architecture team selected to design Sydney’s $3.6bn airport


Cox Architecture and its partner Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have been selected by the Western Sydney Airport in Australia to design its new A$5.3bn ($3.6bn) terminal building.

Planned to be built in Sydney’s new western Parkland City region, the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport will be developed in four phases.

The airport will be equipped to initially handle up to 10 million passengers a year, once commissioned in 2026. It will have the capacity to handle more than 80 million annual passengers by 2060.

The Cox/ZHA team, which has been selected following a competitive process that generated more than 40 design proposals, will be responsible for delivering the airport precinct design, including design guidelines for future expansions.

Named after Australian female pilot Nancy-Bird Walton, the airport will cover 1,780ha and feature a modern terminal with multiple gates and two runways.

Cox director David Holm said: “The design takes inspiration from the unique local flora of Western Sydney and its unique natural qualities, such as the Great Australian Light.

“These spaces, colours and materials have been incorporated into the design to give the project an unmistakable regional identity.”

As master architects, the Cox/ZHA team will now focus on preparing the design documents for the first phase of the terminal precinct.

Additionally, the airport will comprise timber ceilings and vertical gardens aimed at offering a relaxing journey for passengers.

ZHA project director Cristiano Ceccato added: “The design is an evolution of Australian architecture past, present and future. It draws inspiration from both traditional architectural features such as the veranda, as well as the natural beauty of the surrounding bushland.”

Cox said that the project will incorporate sustainable design principles such as extensive use of daylight, natural ventilation and water recycling.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “This is set to be the largest gateway to Australia and these designs are another step to making it a reality.”

Image: Illustration of the Western Sydney International Airport in Sydney, Australia. Photo: courtesy of Cox Architecture.

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