Design images of Western Sydney’s new $5.3b airport revealed

Design images of Western Sydney’s new $5.3b airport revealed

1 November 2019

The first design images of the terminal building at Western Sydney’s new $5.3 billion airport have been released, giving travellers a glimpse of what they can expect when the opens in 2026, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Designs by architecture firms Zaha Hadid Architects and Cox Architecture have been selected for the $5.3 billion ​Western Sydney Airport development.

London-based Zaha Hadid and Australian firm Cox were selected from more than 40 entrants for the terminal precinct design competition, beating out Foster and Partners, Woods Bagot, and Architectus among others.

Architects were required to have experience designing an airport of similar size and complexity to Western Sydney Airport within the last five years in order to be considered for the design project.

The winning designs feature landscaped gardens within a giant public plaza, which will offer shopping, dining and entertainment. The terminal’s interior will also have timber ceilings and vertical gardens.

A statue of Nancy Bird Walton—the pioneering Australian aviatrix the airport is officially named after— will feature in the building forecourt.

Construction giant Lendlease will commence major earthworks — valued at $644 million — early next year. In all, 23 million cubic metres of earth will be moved to construct the airport.

Stage one will include a 3.7 kilometre runway and facilities for up to 10 million passengers annually. Further stages will aim accommodate a projected 82 million annual passengers by 2060.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the designs for the terminal showed the once-in-a-generation infrastructure project coming to life. “This is set to be the largest gateway to Australia and these designs are another step to making it a reality,” he said.

Cox project director David Holm said the design took inspiration from “the unique local flora of western Sydney and the great Australian light to create an unmistakable regional identity”.

While the airport will initially handle up to 10 million passengers annually, the terminal is being built for “modular expansion” to accommodate the long-term capacity of up 80 million passengers a year by the early 2060s.

Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said construction of the airport would result in 11,000 direct and indirect jobs in western Sydney and, within five years of opening, was expected to support 28,000 full-time jobs in the region.

“When passengers enter the terminal they will be immersed in a uniquely Western Sydney International experience with soaring timber ceilings and stunning vertical gardens designed to provide an inviting and relaxing start to their journey,” Western Sydney Airport chief executive Graham Millett said.

“The layout of the terminal will come together with technology and outstanding customer service to give passengers a reliable, fun and stress-free airport experience.”

The airport, which will not have a curfew on flights, is due to open to passengers in 2026.