Western Sydney Airport in Australia has selected Cox Architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) to design its new terminal building.

The airport began searching for a design team in January this year and had shortlisted five teams by June.

Named after Australian female pilot Nancy-Bird Walton, the airport will span over 1,780ha and feature a modern terminal with multiple gates and two runways.

The A$5.3bn airport will be built in four stages. It will be equipped to handle up to ten million passengers a year when opened in 2026.

The terminal will continue to be developed in further stages, enabling it to handle more than 80 million annual passengers in the 2060s.

As master architects, the Cox / ZHA team will be responsible for delivering the entire airport precinct design, including design guidelines for future expansions.

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The team will now focus on preparing the design documents for the first phase of the terminal precinct.

The airport will feature timber ceilings and vertical gardens aimed to offer a relaxing journey for passengers.

Cox director David Holm said: “The design takes inspiration from the unique local flora of Western Sydney and its unique natural qualities, such as the Great Australian Light.

“These spaces, colours and materials have been incorporated into the design to give the project an unmistakable regional identity.”

ZHA project director Cristiano Ceccato added: “The design is an evolution of Australian architecture past, present and future. It draws inspiration from both traditional architectural features such as the veranda, as well as the natural beauty of the surrounding bushland.”

Construction work commenced in September last year, while major earthwork will begin next year.

Zaha Hadid Architects previously designed the new Beijing Daxing International Airport.

It also acted as the lead consultant for the new Navi Mumbai International Airport and Afragola High-Speed Rail station in Naples, as well as the King Abdullah Metro Station in Riyadh.