AIRPORT IN BIELSKO- BIALA / POLAND
This project upgrades a local private airfield to a small local airport, integrating the new complex with the existing structures and their surroundings.
The design, which adds customized solutions to standard airport design, is conceived as an experiment which aspires to open new avenues of thought and bring life back to small airports by reconciling the gap between airports, cities and citizens, and weaving connections between aviation, culture, and local needs.
The concept of isolated airports whose functionality does not extend beyond their boundaries is superseded. Instead, an intermodal transport node is proposed which rearranges the urban fabric and offers a functional solution for a recreational passenger terminal. The complexity and integration of functions are the most important aspects of this enterprise.
Bielsko-Biala Aero Club has been an active recreational airfield since before World War II. There is a need in Poland for small local airports at small centers with existing basic infrastructure that can be modified to meet the business and recreational needs of modern general aviation. Along with the development of new core facilities such as taxiways and a runway, a proposed new building complex combines a small terminal building, Aero Club premises, and a business park complex.
With their use of long horizontal lines, the new buildings give a nod to the mountain range on the horizon and the rectangular airstrip which runs from East to West.
The most important compositional element of the project is the glazed oval form of the pavilion. With the latest construction technologies and careful functional decisions, the transparent body of the distinctive flight terminal at the heart of the project was made prominent.
The design is divided into two separate sections with different functions and structures:
– the single-story passenger terminal and associated facilities that are concealed under a grassy slope.
– Pavilion, with its glazed cylindrical body and wooden observation deck, reminiscent of a pier, serves as an accessory to the terminal and emphasizes the recreational nature of the project.
The project is designed in sympathy with the densely forested terrain. The grassy slope that houses the terminal building forms a large colorful garden leading up to the wooden terrace. The existing infrastructure dictates the positioning of the planned buildings on the south side of the runway. Although this position offers attractive views over the nearby mountain range it raises the technical issue of excessive insolation which is overcome with the use of solar panels, blinds, and an internal airflow system.