World’s Largest Airport Opening in Istanbul

The plainly named Istanbul New Airport is nearing completion and will become the world’s largest airport. Although its name lacks creativity, the airport’s awe-inspiring design makes up for it. The design team was led by London-based Grimshaw and also included the Norway-based Nordic Office of Architecture and London studio Haptic.

This grand gateway to Istanbul and Turkey is a modern, highly efficient airport that captures the rich cultural influences of the historic city. Grimshaw’s design, in collaboration with an international architectural team, for the Istanbul New Airport creates a six-runway development on the Black Sea coast. The terminal is organized to give passengers a coherent transition from landside to airside in an environment that is light, spacious and easy to navigate. Arranged over two and a half levels, with a generous central hall connecting to piers at each end, the simplicity of its organization and ease of navigation belies its size – it will be the largest airport in the world.

The design creates a memorable sense of arrival and draws on the architectural character of Istanbul – a city rich with color, pattern and history since its Byzantine origins – and includes vaulted ceilings pierced with skylights that draw in diffuse daylight and create an open, lofty volume with clear lines of sight. Focused beams of sunlight illuminate key areas in the terminal, such as check-in, security, customs and retail areas.

By the time construction is complete the airport will boast four terminals, six runways, 16 taxiways, 165 jet bridges, a 70,000,000 sq ft apron with 500 aircraft parking capacity, and even its own state palace. With a 150 million annual passenger capacity in its last planned expansion stage, it will be upgradable to handle 200 million annual passengers if required in the future. It will be the third international airport to be built in Istanbul after Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Atatürk Airport will be closed down for scheduled passenger flights once the new airport is fully operational.

As of August 2018, 94% of the first stage of construction was completed. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on 29 October 2018. However, the transfer of operations from Atatürk Airport will commence on 30 or 31 December 2018 at the earliest.


sources: grimshaw, wikipedia