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Foster + Partners wins Mexico City airport expansion job

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Foster + Partners has seen off competition from Zaha Hadid, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Pascall+Watson to bag the £1.8billion airport expansion project

Foster + Partners’ joint bid with FR-EE (Fernando Romero Enterprise) and NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants) saw off competition from seven other entrants to bag the job, which will create one of the world’s largest airports.

The 550,000m2 terminal will be enclosed within a continuous lightweight gridshell, embracing walls and roof in a single, flowing form.

The building will have a roof spanning more than 100m - three times the span of a conventional airport.

Norman Foster, said: ‘Stansted Airport’s reinvention of the conventional terminal in the 1990s was emulated worldwide – this breaks with that model for the first time. It pioneers a new concept for a large-span, single airport enclosure, which will achieve new levels of efficiency and flexibility – and it will be beautiful.

‘The experience for passengers will be unique. Its design provides the most flexible enclosure possible to accommodate internal change and an increase in capacity. Mexico has really seized the initiative in investing in its national airport, understanding its social and economic importance and planning for the future. There will be nothing else like it in the world.’

The scheme to ‘alleviate severe congestion’ at the 60-year-old Mexico City International Airport was first announced last December by transportation secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza.

The new complex is expected to handle 40 million people a year through more than 70 gates.

The state-funded project is expected to be operational by 2018, with construction set to start next year.

The news comes in the same week as Foster’s hopes for an airport in the Thames Estuary were dashed when Howard Davies’ Airports Commission ruled out the proposal as an option for providing new airport capacity.

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