The challenge of combining construction and uninterrupted airport operations was great both in the early years with high passenger traffic and during a pandemic. In addition, design geometry, acoustic performance, travel experience, size and timing were equally important challenges that were answered emphatically. The challenge was to combine the old and the new airport buildings, which represent two completely different eras of architectural design, in the same space. While the new building follows the new concept, the architects sought to functionally remodel the existing one. The buildings are joined by two air bridges, which also symbolize the transition from the old to the new. For passengers, the bridges are also a part of the experience, as the first, which overlooks the grounds outside the airport, leads to the security area, while the second gradually prepares them for the trip, offering magical views of the runways. Among the most important infrastructure projects at Thessaloniki Airport, was the creation of the new terminal, a very important project, which enables the service of many more passengers since the airport of Thessaloniki had long ago exceeded its limits. An important characteristic and emblematic reference point of the new terminal of the new era of Thessaloniki Airport is the exterior, with an area of 31,000 sq. m. The architectural design offers a new identity, creating a pleasant travel experience for millions of passengers each year. The faces of the airport are characterized by the diamond-shaped grid of the glass curtain, specially designed to prevent the entry of sunlight and at the same time allow visibility and view from the inside to the outside. The exterior that “magnetizes” the eyes is a particularly impressive creation of the architectural office Bobotis + Bobotis Architects, known for the particularly “dynamic” forms, whose main goal was to create a complex with a strong identity, with key design points the diagonal glass curtains of the facade and the prismatic form of boarding exits and footbridges. With conventional curtain walls not being able to meet the requirements of the project, the specially designed facade system ALUMINCO SKG120 worked extremely well with the proposed large panel, thickness, and weight glass, responding emphatically to both challenges, design, and performance, of the project. In particular, the design and engineering team developed an innovative solution, based on cutting-edge innovation and design flexibility of the company’s facade systems, tackling with great success the architects’ vision for diamond-shaped glazing over conventional vertical-mounted glazing. Also, the unprecedented high demands on sound insulation up to 53 dB, were achieved to the maximum, to comply with the modern standards of the airports but also to serve the main goal of the overall Fraport project, which is the quality upgrade of the travel experience for passengers. ALUMINCO responded equally satisfactorily to the challenge of placement in the optimal time and without delays, always for the benefit of the project investors.
The recent expansion and upgrade of Thessaloniki Airport “Makedonia”, with more check-in points and departure gates, is now ready to welcome passengers. Designing the facade of a modern airport is both an art and a science, as it requires a perfect balance between modern security constraints and the creative imagination that a demanding project needs. The ambition of the German investors was for the new terminal of the “Macedonia” airport to have a distinct architectural identity that will register the passage to the “new era”. Entering the airport, the traveler sees an impressive, modern construction, which is distinguished for its simple, Doric line and the sense of perpetual movement, given by its shape and volumes. The façade of the new terminal meets the modern operational standards, of both performance and airport design, to the fullest extent, serving the main goal of the overall Fraport project, which is to upgrade the quality of the travel experience for passengers. The performance of wind permeability, watertightness but also resistance to wind pressure, in relation to the size of the facade, exceeded all expectations. In particular, at the level of sound reduction, the performance of 53dB sets new standards, responding in the most emphatic way to the specific requirements and specifications of the project. The specially designed facade system ALUMINCO SKG120 dressed the new terminal of Thessaloniki Airport, the largest project in the investment program of Fraport Greece for 14 of the regional airports in the country, while winning the Gold Title at the Aluminum in Architecture Awards!