The “X” Factor – Here’s The Awesome MasterPiece Of New Mexico City’s Airport (Photos)

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Sep 06 2014
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British architect Lord Norman Foster is the United Kingdom’s biggest builder of landmark office buildings. He designed the Beijing Terminal 3 Airport, Hong Kong International Airport and tons other infamous architectures. Together with Mexico’s Fernando Romero, son-in-law of Mexican telecom magnate and world’s richest person from 2010-2013 Carlos Slim, have had their design chosen for Mexico City’s new airport.

Mexico City New Airport - Norman Foster and Fernando RomeroMexico City New Airport - Norman Foster and Fernando Romero - 2

Costing a whopping US$9.2 billion (£5.6 billion; RM29.2 billion), the new Mexico City airport will cover nearly 11,400 acres (4,600 hectares) of former lake-bed adjacent to the present, over-crowded facility. The airport will have a distinct large “X” shape, which resembles the iconography of the Mexican flag. It will have six runways, one entrance structure, and one terminal capable to serve 120 million passengers per year when completed.

Mexico City New Airport - X Symbol - 1Mexico City New Airport - X Symbol - 2

The existing old airport which can handle only 32 million passengers per year will eventually be turned over to the city for recreational and educational use. The construction of the new airport is scheduled to start in 2015, and will take a mind-boggling “50 years” to complete. But President Enrique Peña Nieto said three runaways are expected to be up and running by 2020 and handle 52 million passengers per year.

Mexico City New Airport - Internal Design - EscalatorMexico City New Airport - X Symbol - 6

A cacti garden will be at the very entrance, reminding travelers of the plant in the Mexican flag. The main entrance building will have elements that resemble the snake hunted by the eagle in the flag, while the airy, lightweight looking roof of the terminal symbolizes the eagle spreading wings. Obviously, the main challenge to the designer is the fact that the region is subject to frequent earthquakes and the soil is basically a lake-bed.

Mexico City New Airport - EntranceMexico City New Airport - X Symbol - 4

Its green concept includes 24 water plants, a system of natural ventilation with minimal heating only half of the year, and modern residues processing system. Foster claims this airport is the first of its kind in the world – it won’t have vertical walls or conventional columns and roof.  The design proposes 95 boarding gates around a single terminal.

Mexico City New Airport - Norman Foster and Fernando Romero - DesigningMexico City New Airport - Fernando Romero Shows The Model

The entire terminal is covered within a continuous lightweight gridshell, embracing walls and roof in a single, flowing form, evocative of light. It is designed to be the world’s most sustainable and will use fewer materials and energy than a cluster of buildings would. The design ensures short walking distances and few level changes, and no internal trains or underground tunnels.

Mexico City New Airport - Roof TopMexico City New Airport - Existing Benito Juarez International Airport

As for funding, the Mexican government would fund the initial phase of construction from the $634 million the existing Benito Juarez International Airport generates in revenues per year. Subsequently, private investors will fund the following stages in the form of 30-year bonds.

Mexico City New Airport - X Symbol - 5Mexico City New Airport - Internal Design - No Vertical Walls


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