Foster + Partners to Design Marseille Airport Extension

The project will allow the airport to serve up to 12 million passengers per year, future-proofing the development until 2046.

Marseille Airport rendering
Marseille Airport rendering

Foster + Partners has won the design competition for the new Marseille Airport extension. As the primary gateway to Provence, the project will allow the airport to serve up to 12 million passengers per year, future-proofing the development until 2046.

“Marseille airport has grown extensively and incrementally over the last 60 years. Our goal is to design a generous pavilion that reconnects all parts of the existing buildings, simplifying the flow of people between them and creating a new welcoming gateway to the region,” said Grant Brooker, head of studio for Foster + Partners, in prepared remarks. “The new terminal features a panoramic terrace overlooking the airport and the landscape beyond, and is entirely top lit, capturing the bright Provençal sunlight and paying homage to the bold architectural spirit of Fernand Pouillon’s original building.”

A Unique Design 

Phase I of the project will create a new ‘Coeur,’ or heart, that rationalizes arrival and departure sequences within a single building, creating an intuitive progression through the terminal for passengers. The Coeur is a 72-foot high glazed hall, with an inverted beam roof, 108-foot deep span and a continuous grid of glass skylights. Clad with stainless-steel, the skylights act like giant lanterns, bringing natural light and air deep into the building. Large indoor trees bring a sense of calm to the space, helping create a relaxing environment.

All departing passengers pass through security screening on the first floor, overlooking the arrivals level below. Passing through a giant multimedia screen that spans across the building, they are immediately transported into a large double-height space animated by shops and restaurants, with tranquil seating areas surrounded by green trees. From here, there is a clear view of the aircraft and landing bays, with the lounges and panoramic terrace on upper levels. The Coeur floats above the existing 1990s building, creating a common architectural expression for the airport.

The interior spaces flow seamlessly from one building to the other, with a flexible layout that can be adapted for the existing buildings. Phase II will add an additional pier with 12 aerobridges. To reduce the impact on day-to-day airport operations, the modular structure will be predominantly prefabricated offsite, and erected on a fast-track schedule.

Last month, Foster + Partners unveiled the design for MOL Group’s new headquarters, MOL Campus, in Budapest, Hungary. 

Image courtesy of Foster + Partners