Haptic, in collaboration with NORDIC-Office of Architecture and Griff Architecture have won the open international competition for the new airBaltic terminal at Riga International Aiport. The competition called for “design concepts, both architectural and functional that best captured the aspirations and brand identity of airBaltic”. The first phase will accommodate 7-8 million passengers per annum, whilst the new terminal will eventually cater for 14 million passengers. The organising committee received 125 entries from 70 countries.
The terminal roof is inspired by the gently undulating forms of the Latvian landscape, with peaks and troughs responding to internal configuration and passenger flows. Internally, the roof soffit is composed of a hexagonal timber grid shell, with infill of timber or clear and diffused glass to control daylighting and acoustics, whilst providing dramatic variation across the entirety of the roofscape. This composition of light, shade, depth and colour is derived from the spectacular forest canopies throughout Latvia, whilst the hexagonal pattern relates to the country’s history of geometrical patternwork.
The roof is however highly functional. Large overhangs to the east and west provide shade from low lying sun. Rainwater is captured in the valleys and reused in the terminal building and landscape. Rooflights are distributed strategically across the roof to provide natural daylight and reduce the need for electrical lighting.