[London Evening Standard] Flooded with light under the sweeping arc of its huge roof, Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 begins to take shape. The £2.5 billion structure, which airport bosses hope will transform travellers’ experience, is expected to be completed next year, with the first passengers using it in 2014.
The four-storey glass building is designed to maximise daylight and smooth the movement of passengers, of whom some 20 million a year — at a rate of 3,000 per hour — will pass through.
A distinctive three-waved roof, 54,000 metres square, has been designed by Foster + Partners. It will act as an “intuitive way finder” marking out check-in, security and departures.
Some 28 planes will slot into stands around the terminal in a “toast rack” design that makes the most of Heathrow’s limited space. T2 will serve Star Alliance airlines, including Air Canada, Lufthansa and Thai Airways International, and take Airbus A380s and A320s.
The new terminal is part of a long-term overhaul of the airport that aims to improve customer experience, but will not remedy the problem of capacity, with the two runways already operating nearly at full stretch.
The 1,500-seat departure lounge is a planespotter’s treat, as the 15-metre-high windows look out onto the south runway. Some 3,000 square metres in departures with prime views are earmarked for first and business class. T2 travellers will also have more room to stretch out — project director Duncan Pickard said: “There’s less retail [space] per passenger than T5 but there’s a balance to be struck as retail helps fund a project which has no public money.”
Arrivals, on the first floor, will host 46 immigration desks, which in theory should cut out huge waits at passport control. “If the Border Force …..
Matthew Beard – Evening Standard
7th November, 2012
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