A collaboration of Foster + Partners, Fernando Romero Enterprise (FR-EE) and Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO) has won an international competition to design Mexico’s new airport.

Once constructed, the 555,000m2 facility will be one of the world’s largest airports.

The compact single terminal will use less materials and energy than a cluster of buildings.

The construction will ensure reduced walking distances and fewer level changes for passengers, so no internal trains or underground tunnels are needed. The airport will be designed to cater for future passenger growth.

The lightweight glass and steel structure and soaring vaulted roof take into account Mexico City’s challenging soil conditions.

"Mexico has really seized the initiative in investing in its national airport, understanding its social and economic importance and planning for the future."

The entire building will be serviced from underground, which will reveal the environmental skin and eliminate the need for ducts and pipes on the roof. The structure will make use of solar power and enable the collection of rainwater and direct daylight.

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Little or no additional heating or cooling will be used inside the building for more of the year. The facility will be designed and built according to LEED Platinum standards.

Airport designer Lord Norman Foster said: "Stansted Airport’s reinvention of the conventional terminal in the 1990s was emulated worldwide and this breaks with that model for the first time. It pioneers a new concept for a large-span, single airport enclosure, which will achieve new levels of efficiency and flexibility.

"The experience for passengers will be unique. The airport’s design provides the most flexible enclosure possible to accommodate internal change and an increase in capacity.

"Mexico has really seized the initiative in investing in its national airport, understanding its social and economic importance and planning for the future. There will be nothing else like it in the world."

Image: Foster + Partners, FR-EE to design Mexico’s new airport. Photo: courtesy of Foster + Partners.