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Zaha and Grimshaw compete for new Istanbul airport tower

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Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), Grimshaw and RMJM are among the six teams shortlisted for an air traffic control tower for Istanbul’s £6 billion new airport

Italian-outfit Massimiliano Fuksas, Safdie Architects and Pininfarina with Aecom complete the list of practices vying for the 95 metre-tall project.

The new tower features in the first phase of the Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA) project which was initially designed by Grimshaw with Oslo-based Nordic Office of Architecture and London-based Haptic Architects.

Earlier this year Scott Brownrigg was appointed lead designer for the wider airport project. According to a statement from the practice, Scott Brownrigg has been reworking early designs by the trio to ’suit the evolving needs of the client’. Grimshaw has maintained a role on a number of ’design packages’ including the envelope and elements of the interior.

Grimshaw and Nordic's Istanbul Grand Airport

Istanbul Grand Airport

Istanbul Grand Airport

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.

Full shortlist

  • Zaha Hadid Architecture
  • Grimshaw with Nordic
  • RMJM
  • Massimiliano Fuksas
  • Safdie Architects
  • Pininfarina with Aecom

Participants in the competition were asked to draw inspiration from local symbols. ZHA’s design was based on whirling dervishes, RMJMs on seagulls and Safdie Architects’ on Ottoman geometric patterns.

Massimiliano Fuksas based its design on minarets while Grimshaw-Nordic drew inspiration from its nearby terminal buildings and Pininfarina-Aecom was influenced by tulips.

IGA consortium chief executive Yusuf Akçayoğlu said: ‘We are developing a unique project inspired by the local architecture. That is why we have organized this contest, hoping that Airport Traffic Control Tower design would symbolically contribute great deal to Istanbul New Airport and also will be the most important figure of Istanbul.’

He continued: ’We particularly asked contestants to get inspired from icons of Turkey. Currently we are evaluating the submitted projects and will be announcing the results as soon as possible.’

A winner is expected to be announced at the end of this month.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Is Santiago Calatrava a member of the Grimshaw-Nordic team? Their proposal bears astonishing similarities to his telecommunications tower in Barcelona.

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