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Terminal triumphs

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A selection of transport schemes from the UK, Europe and Asia shows the exciting possibilities for good architecture in what could otherwise be utilitarian projects. Our snapshots prove that, with imaginative design, it is possible to combine the aestheti

Zurich Airport Landside and Airside centres Nicholas Grimshaw won the international competition in 1996 to design new passenger facilities to cater for the marked increase in traffic at the airport. The two principal elements of the scheme, called the Airside and Landside centres, are midway through production information stages at present.

The Airside Centre, a massive, double-height space which spans the passenger hall, connects the two airport terminals.

This hall, on two levels, contains retail, catering and lounge facilities, from where passengers can enjoy unobstructed views across the airport through a fully glazed west facade. The lower service level will accommodate an extended baggage reclaim area and immigration hall.

The £100 million Landside Centre is situated above the mainline train station, connecting with Zurich's other major transport systems. The 60 new check-in desks are intended to greatly improve the efficiency of the airport's through-flow. The roof contains an elliptical lens rooflight, designed to reflect the main circulation zone.

Bus Station and Pavilion, Spijkenesse Centrum, Rotterdam The project was won in 1995 by a team of architects including Clash Associates, Kees Christiansee and Cheil van der Stelt from Rotterdam. The scheme comprises the building of a bus station interchange and a glass pavilion containing a cafe and bookshop next to the existing metro station in the Spijkenesse suburb of Rotterdam.

The canopies are stainless steel-clad aerofoil sections supported on alternately inclined tubular steel legs. Large frameless glass sheets cantilever from the front of the canopies to maximize cover and minimise shadow. It is integrated with an intelligent transit control system and electronic display screens for user convenience. The glazed kiosk houses a range of facilities, and has a concrete and steel roof shaped to mirror the canopy aerofoils.

Inchon International Airport Transportation Centre, Seoul With the population of the Seoul metropolitan area reaching in excess of 20 million, and with the Kimpo Airport reaching saturation point in 1997, Terry Farrell and Partners' Inchon International is designed to accommodate future expected demand of 50 million passengers. Two terminals are under construction, but land is available for growth. Created from 5,617ha of tidal landmass, the airport site sits between what were once two islands (Yong-Jong and Yong-Yu).

The completed area, which covers 8km from north to south and 6km from east to west, adds to Kowloon's integrated transportation plans.

Linking with the railway route to Chek Lap Kok, the site's geographical location makes it a natural hub airport for 43 major Asian cities.

At 250,000m 2, the transportation centre will house three rail systems (metro, standard train and high-speed train); a bus and coach station; taxi, car rental, hotel, tour-bus pick-up points and parking requirements. It is planned for completion in time for the 2002 Football World Cup, which Korea is co-hosting with Japan.

The building's exterior is fashioned from stainless-steel panels and glass - a sculptural addition that provides natural ventilation for the 190m span great hall, through which all passengers will pass. The combination of the aesthetic with the functional continues through other areas, such as the below-ground car park, which provided an opportunity to create a landscaped garden around the great hall.

Oldham bus station As part of Oldham's redevelopment, Austin-Smith: Lord has designed an impressive new bus station which is intended to be a flagship building for the town. Set in the middle of Oldham's civic quarter at Cheapside/West Street, it forms a gateway into the central district and is designed to act as a focal public space for the area.

Comprising a lightweight aluminium canopy with strong use of glazed elements, the building is set in a large landscaping scheme that includes boulevard planting, lighting and street furniture. Containing four double stands and four single stands, the internal colonnade houses bespoke signage and seating at each boarding point, resulting in an airy, accessible environment that is easy to negotiate.

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