Richard Rogers & Bamboo for Madrid's Airport Extention


We mentioned the Spanish company Tuka Bamboo before for their lush flooring and other delicious construction material but their latest project definitely deserves another mentioning. We visited them at Construmat and here's what they told us. Not less than 200.000 m2 of bamboo plywood for the roof turned Terminal 4 of Madrid’s Barajas airport into something more than a space before take-off. Tuka Bamboo, the provider of the material, explain that the bamboo had been chosen for its sustainable and ecological criteria. The 5-layered strips for this construction had been especially designed for this project and had undergone a particular fireproof as well as anti-humidity treatment.

This multiple design award-winning airport, designed by none other than Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners (formerly known as Richard Rogers Partnership), has another innovative feature apart from the bamboo wave structure to improve well-being and eco-friendliness in this airport: an exemplary use of daylight! Not one fluorescent tube, ugly ceiling tile or cold metal sheet roofing can be found here. The punctuated roof lets natural light in, through what looks like big friendly eyes, in a controlled way. RSHP say ‘while no specific environmental criteria were stipulated in the brief, the design team set out to maximise natural daylight to all passenger areas and reduce dependence on artificial light, while providing views out and reducing solar gain with extensive external shading’. The result apart from saving energy is a beautiful play of changing daylight along the bamboo roof and the rest of the interiors (thin tree-like columns and glass walls). When there’s no daylight, pools of electric lighting illuminate the spaces.

Now the only downside is that it takes a good 15 minutes to get from T4 to the other terminals. All the more time I say to take pleasure in the smooth undulated bamboo roof and the sun shining in though its structure. (We are still talking about an airport…) ::Tuka Bamboo ::Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners

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