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Pininfarina wins Istanbul airport tower job

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Pininfarina has seen off competition from Zaha Hadid Architects and Grimshaw to win the contest to design a control tower at Istanbul’s new airport

Pininfarina’s winning design also beat schemes from RMJM, Massimiliano Fuksas, and Safdie Architects. 

The Italian practice has collaborated with Aecom on its proposals for the 95m-tall tower which forms part of the first phase of the Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA) project initially designed by Grimshaw with Oslo-based Nordic Office of Architecture and London-based Haptic Architects. 

According to the practice its design marries influences from the aviation and automotive sectors with strong architectural design.  

The elliptical tower, which will be visible to passengers flying in and out of the new airport, has been inspired by the tulip – the symbol of Istanbul.  

Earlier this year Scott Brownrigg was appointed lead designer for the wider airport project. 

Planned to complete in 2017, the first phase will deliver three runways and terminal facilities for up to 90 million passengers a year. 

Later phases of the project – located around 35km west of the city in the Arnavutköy district – will expand capacity up to 150 million. 

Once complete, the facility – which replaces Istanbul Atatürk Airport nearby – is expected to become the third largest airport in the world. 

Yusuf Akçayoğlu, chief executive officer of İGA, said: ‘One of the World’s largest aviation projects, Istanbul New Airport’s air traffic control tower will be an iconic structure, visible to all passengers travelling through the airport. We were looking for a striking design fit for a 21st century airport while remaining sensitive to Istanbul’s unique heritage. We received excellent designs from all over the world and are delighted to announce the AECOM and Pininfarina team as the competition winner.’ 

Jennifer Dixon, head of architecture, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, AECOM, commented: ‘In this competition, our aim was to combine the dynamism and romance of Pininfarina’s architectural style that is so influenced by automotive design with AECOM’s in-house aviation architecture capabilities. The AECOM and Pininfarina team has created a beautiful and highly functional piece that rekindles the excitement and glamour of modern air travel at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.’ 

Paolo Pininfarina, chairman of Pininfarina, added: ‘The Istanbul ATC for the New Airport is an iconic building, destined to become a landmark for Istanbul. Our aim, as with all our projects, was to develop a bespoke idea that embodied our partner’s design identity while at the same time bringing a new aesthetic perspective. By leveraging the unique combination of our 85 years’ experience in design – from cars to superyachts, and from luxury products to furniture – with our architectural knowledge gained from several projects around the world, we have been able to create a technologically advanced structure of distinctive character.’


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