Credits: FBB/Günter Wicker
Planner team: ATP architects engineers/amd.sigma strategic airport development In 2017, the planner team ATP architects engineers/amd.sigma strategic airport development was commissioned to completely rework the existing concept for the construction of an additional terminal (T2) for six million passengers per year at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). The challenge was to reduce the GFA from 40,000 m² to around 23,000 m² while still being ready for the general opening deadline of October 2020. Today, T2 is “ready for take-off”.
Design start: 12/2017, Completion and ready for take-off: 09/2020
Planner team: ATP architects engineers/amd.sigma strategic airport development
In 2017, the planner team ATP architects engineers/amd.sigma strategic airport development was commissioned to completely rework the existing concept for the construction of an additional terminal (T2) for six million passengers per year at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). The challenge was to reduce the GFA from 40,000 m² to around 23,000 m² while still being ready for the general opening deadline of October 2020. Today, T2 is “ready for take-off”.
ATP/amd.sigma succeeded in redeveloping and redesigning the terminal in record time. The period from the first project idea via the spatial program to the planning submission was just eight months. And only 38 months elapsed between the “First Sketch of Design” and the “Handing Over to Operation” in September 2020. Despite complex processes, the late confirmation of many user requirements, and the strict timetable it was still possible to hand over T2, ready for operation, “on time”. This makes it one of Germany’s fastest-built terminal projects.
“In order to realize a project of this scale ´to the right quality and on time,’ integrated design with Building Information Modeling (BIM) is indispensable,” says the architect Niklas Veelken, Managing Director of ATP Berlin, commenting on the successful cooperation within the experienced and broadly-based planner team and the huge commitment of the many participants.
The architectural language of T2 employs the aesthetic of industrial building, in order to clearly depict the role of the terminal as a functional structure. This industrial approach to both the form and the content enabled the planner team to very quickly draw up a concept that offers maximum support to the building’s core process – the efficient and stress-free guidance of up to 2,000 people simultaneously at peak times through the terminal – with minimum distances and in keeping with all necessary security requirements. In order to guarantee this, the team planning T2 conceived it as a “fast-track” project with a structure and façade that are as simple as possible.
[Integrated design with BIM]
In planning and coordinating the equipment in the building, ATP/amd.sigma focused on integrated processes, supported by Building Information Modeling (BIM). This enabled them to meet all the client’s design requirements in a way that both saves resources and reduces waste in terms of volume, materials, and energy.
For example, T2 confronted the planner team with the need to integrate a large number of complex building services systems and airport-specific equipment (baggage handling systems) – while taking into account the requirements of the various user groups. Hence, the design and coordination of the building equipment took the form of an integrated design process that involved the interdisciplinary coordination of all the specialist planning areas. In light of its extensive experience of both infrastructure and industrial buildings, the planner team paid great attention to lean processes and high productivity during the realization of the project. ATP’s integrated design approach – the interdisciplinary and simultaneous cooperation of architects and structural and building services engineers – made it possible to develop and interweave the primary structures and the building services elements, despite the tight design timetable.
The complex use structure of T2 was also addressed through intelligent planning, with integrated design with BIM being particularly indispensable for translating the requirement for perfectly smooth operations into a concrete building concept. This interdisciplinary cooperation, which ATP, as a true digital pioneer, has been using since 2012 like virtually no other design office, pools the know-how of all participants. In this way, it was possible to realize the compact and optimized check-in terminal as a true spatial miracle (whereby it was reduced in size from the originally planned 40,000 m² to around 23,000 m² despite a reduction in the number of peak-time passengers of just 20%).
Thanks to the multi-location, BIM-based cooperation between members of the ATP network – ATP Berlin and ATP Frankfurt – and amd.sigma it was possible to fully design the complex building in line with all requirements and to submit it for planning approval in just eight months.
“ATP architects engineers’ special way of working – our integrated and groupwide cooperation – has once again proved to be the gold standard for major projects such as T2. It allows us to avoid wasting time, resources, and built volume and ensures a smooth workflow. Integrated design is and remains a forward-looking approach,” sums up the architect Boyan Kolchakov, Lead Project Manager at ATP Berlin.
Lutz Weisser, Managing Director of amd.sigma, sees the short planning period as a result of perfect cooperation from day one: “Due to the many years’ experience of amd's terminal architects we were able to immediately design our first proposed solutions as a basis for discussion with the client. By investigating a series of variants we then developed the final solution within three weeks. The experience of our airport architects meant that we were able to develop a layout that illustrated all processes and key requirements even before the user needs had been fully ascertained.”
Weisser, a specialist in airport consultancy and the overall conception of projects, and his team of experienced terminal architects were responsible for the organization of the processes and for the ground plan of T2. The general planner team also included fire protection and signage specialists as well as the market leaders in the design of baggage handling systems (suisseplan).
As integrated designers, ATP architects engineers had the responsibility within the planner team for the exterior and interior design concepts as well as the design process leadership in the areas of architecture and structural and building services engineering, which it delivered via multi-office cooperation within the ATP network.
“The successful planning of all services in the areas of building services and architectural and structural design could only be ensured by the integrated cooperation between ATP Frankfurt, ATP Berlin, and ATP HAID Nuremberg,” says Harald Stieber, Managing Director of ATP Frankfurt.
With its fair-faced concrete and exposed ceilings the architecture is in the tradition of industrial building. The resulting executional quality shapes the interior concept of the large spaces of T2. For example, the check-in counters of white, highly-resistant mineral-based material provide purist eyecatchers in the check-in hall, while dark-gray grilles act as both visual elements and privacy screens.
The route through the terminal is passenger-friendly, clear, and intuitive. The color concept was developed as a means of distinguishing between different use and spatial zones and corresponds with the signage concept of Berlin Brandenburg Airport. In addition to this, a red metal strip at a height of 3.5 meters guides visitors through the entire building.
The focus of the planning was maximum flexibility: In order to ensure that the security control hall could be easily adapted in line with the latest airport security requirements it was designed to be largely column-free. The two-story glazed connection with the North Pier has a load-bearing steel structure that enables it to bridge the road between T2 and the pier without the need for any support.
The curtain façade of polished, anodized aluminum panels acts as a counterpart with the exposed concrete of the main terminal. Any form of aesthetic excess is consciously avoided. The planner team from ATP/amd.sigma chose aluminum as a material with a clear industrial aesthetic that establishes an air of both simplicity and quality while transforming the terminal into a shimmering silver box. All doors and windows are flush with the outer surface, creating a sense of unbroken homogeneity.
With over 900 employees, ATP architects engineers is Europe’s leading integrated design office. With a headquarters in Innsbruck (AT) and a network of eleven offices in the DACH (A: Innsbruck, Vienna; D: Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Munich; CH: Zurich) and CEE (Moscow, Budapest, Zagreb) Regions, it designs buildings for clients from the industrial, real estate, transport, retail, and health sectors, with the support of in-house consulting and specialist design companies.
With 40 years’ experience, ATP is a sectoral leader in the integrated design of lifecycle-oriented buildings. The culture of cooperation between architects and engineers provides the foundation for a corporate structure that is based on constant learning. Since 2012, ATP has modeled all its buildings in BIM. The BIM standard developed during many years by ATP made an important contribution to the Austrian BIM norm (ÖNORM A 6241). ATP has placed this standard at the disposal of the market via the knowledge platform BIMpedia.
As the Professor of Integrated Construction Planning and Industrial Building in the Institute for Interdisciplinary Construction Process Management at Vienna University of Technology, ATP CEO Christoph M. Achammer is deeply involved in research into integrated design, lifecycle-orientation, BIM, and digitalization.
“Fast track” timetable:
Concept phase: to 08/2017
Design start ATP: 08/2017
Submission of planning application: 12/2017
Approval: 07/2018 (8 months)
Construction start: Spring 2018
Topping-out ceremony: 07/2019
First Sketch of Design to Handing over to Operation: 38 months
ATP/amd.sigma strategic airport development
External planning partners:
suisseplan Ingenieure AG Logistik, VIA Beratende Ingenieure, Voigt-Ingenieure, Gruner GmbH, GDLA Landschaftsarchitekten, moniteurs GmbH