A sleek building in the shape of a boomerang, or more appropriately a pair of aircraft wings, has been opened at Farnborough airport in Hampshire.
The airfield is best known for its annual air shows, but these are now complemented by "the most modern airport dedicated to business aviation in Europe", according to the client, TAG Aviation.
Reid Architecture's £10.2m terminal and operations building is the practice's final addition to its earlier air-traffic control tower and hangars. As with Foster and Partners‘ award-winning car production headquarters for TAG McLaren, Reid set out to create the visual and spatial excitement appropriate to its sister company TAG Aviation, which claims a similarly cutting-edge reputation for technology and service.
"Our aim was to create a building that picks up and reflects the technology and beauty of aircraft," said Reid's design director, Matthew Bedward. And in its masterplan for the site, Reid aspired to create a "theatre of aviation" with grandstand views of the dynamic air displays.
The 5000 m² three-storey passenger terminal for business travellers doubles as a commercial conference centre and the airport's operations centre. These activities are brought together at an oval atrium that is located at the heart of the building and is bounded by a swirling staircase, access balconies and outward-sloping strip windows.
Externally, the building is clad in mill-finished aluminium shingles. Along with the streamlined curvaceous form, the shining aluminium shingles give it a suitably high-tech aeronautical character.
client TAG Aviation
architect Reid Architecture
structural and services engineer Buro Happold
quantity surveyor Cyril Sweett
landscape architect Lovejoy
main contractor TAG Construction Management
Specialist contractors Rowecord Engineering (structural steelwork), Mero (external cladding), Compass Glass (glazing)