London Mayor Ken Livingstone and the Borough of Hillingdon have approved Heathrow East, which will handle 30 million passengers a year and replace Terminals 1 and 2.
Heathrow East will rival the scale and ambience of Richard Rogers' Terminal 5 project, scheduled to open in 2008, and should be handling passengers in time for the London 2012 Olympics.
Work is scheduled to start on site in 2009 and involves demolishing Gibberd's 1950s Terminal 2 and Queen's buildings - the oldest parts of the airport. Terminal 1 will eventually be mothballed, said Heathrow operator BAA.
Foster & Partners secured the massive project in January 2006 after seeing off competition from Richard Rogers, Grimshaw and Reid Architecture. (AJ 25.01.06).
BAA insists that the scheme, which is designed to complement the new £4.2 billion Terminal 5, will not increase passenger capacity and will produce 40 per cent less carbon dioxide than the existing terminals.
'BAA has achieved this by working with the London Borough of Hillingdon and the Mayor to design a building that requires less energy,' BAA said in a statement.
Heathrow East will generate 'decentralised energy through on-site combined cooling, heating and power and will use on-site renewable energy such as biomass gasification and photovoltaic solar panels,' added BAA.