Contrary to the conclusion of your editorial (AJ 29.5.03), we are confident that Heathrow's Terminal 5 will stand beside Madrid's Barajas as a world benchmark in airport design.
It will be a worthy national gateway and an exciting landmark building for London and Britain. The two schemes, both by the Richard Rogers Partnership, demonstrate the evolution of design concepts in the first instance from Terminal 5 to Barajas and then later, due to the extended UK public inquiry, back again. Recent concepts such as the exciting interchange space in front of the main terminal building exist only at Heathrow.
The resulting design of Terminal 5 undoubtedly reflects the specific requirements and challenging constraints of the Heathrow site, but it is a prestigious project of which both BAA and the Richard Rogers Partnership can be justifiably proud.
The procurement route and framework relationship for Terminal 5 not only support the quality of the design outcome, but also ensure success around the cost and time elements of the £3.7 billion project.
Mike Forster, development and design director, BAA Group, and Mike Davies, director, Richard Rogers Partnership