The new terminal building more than doubles the airport’s capacity without compromising on esthetics. Nordic — Office of Architecture, the architects behind what has been hailed as the world’s greenest airport building, have delivered another spectacular terminal building, this time in the regional capital of western Norway; Bergen.
Originally built with a capacity of 2.8 million passengers, the new terminal increases this to 7.5 million and is now ready to serve as a beautiful new gateway to the unique landscape of the whole of western Norway. Set in a landscape dominated by fjords, mountains and rapidly changing weather, the airport complements and references its surroundings. Taking the form of a pair of wings spread wide, the overall design brings to mind the valleys and fjords of the region.
The winged forms are separated by a glazed space, resembling a fjord cutting through a valley, with a suite of office functions raised above it. A ‘valley’ beneath the arrival and departures forecourt features the most environmentally friendly means of reaching the airport; the new “Bybanen” rail connection that runs to and from the city of Bergen at intervals of just 5 minutes during peak hours.
“We were lucky to work with an extremely professional client, with high standards and equally high demands. That pushes us as architects to come up with solutions that are beyond what you would expect for an airport,” says Eskild Andersen, partner at Nordic — Office of Architecture. “It also makes for a comfortable collaboration, when the people you’re working with are such consummate professionals.”
The extensive use of glass ensures a terminal that feels light and transparent, where travelers can see straight through the entire building and out to the landscape beyond. The sides of the building feature custom designed plate cladding that is as clever as it is beautiful. The shape of the metal plates create an interesting play of light and shadow through the day, but also require less material as the folds in the metal make each plate stronger than if it were a plain sheet of metal.
Another feature bound to draw the travelers’ attention is the timber ceiling. Oak slats conceal the acoustic dampeners and technical systems above, while giving the interior a warm and unmistakably Scandinavian feel.
Legibility and flow are keywords for all of Nordic’s airport designs, or as Gudmund Stokke, founding partner at Nordic puts it, “The building tells you where to go”. While eliminating signage is never an option in an airport, Nordic’s architects have reduced the need for it through a spatial legibility that shows the passenger where their next step should take them.
The 63,000m2 new terminal has almost quadrupled the total size of the airport, and houses one of the most efficient baggage handling systems in Europe. A dynamic operation that drastically reduces the time it takes to process both incoming and outgoing baggage.
Bergen Airport is the latest in a line of airports designed by Nordic — Office of Architecture. Other notable airports include the recently opened Oslo Airport expansion, hailed as the greenest airport in the world, and Istanbul New Airport.
Bergen Airport was delivered on time and under budget.