Barajas Airport Extension
The six finalists in the eleventh edition of this award given by the RIBA and AJ magazine to the “building of the year”, show the thriving state of British contemporary architecture. They included a brick house by Adam Caruso and Peter St. John, Michael Hopkins’ Evelina Children’s Hospital and the Idea Store center by David Adjaye, all in London; in addition to the Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany; and two projects by Richard Rogers: the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff and Terminal 4 of Barajas airport. With two projects nominated, this Florence-born British architect was a clear favorite and the extension of the Madrid airport, in collaboration with the Lamela Studio, walked away with the prize. The new terminal, designed to accommodate a flow of up to seventy million passengers, is characteristically covered with warped sheets of steel, adorned on the interior with strips of bamboo, held in place by colorfully painted steel and concrete ‘trees’. This system allows visitors to easily situate themselves as they move from one area to another. Natural light is trapped by skylights in the roof and through the glass panels.