Heathrow picks Grimshaw for expansion design

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Aerial view of Heathrow

Grimshaw have been chosen as the concept designers to bring Heathrow Airport’s vision for its £16 billion ($21 billion) expansion project to add a third runway and develop facilities.

The airport says it sends the clear signal to the UK Government it is “ready-to-go” – privately financed infrastructure project.

Shareholders in Heathrow also said in a letter yesterday to UK Prime Minister Theresa May they are ready to invest the £16 billion needed if the government chooses it as the site for expansion.

UK-based Universities Superannuation Scheme, which owns a 10 per cent stake in Heathrow, said in a letter to May that the airport’s shareholders were prepared to put up the money to pay for a new runway – the first time the investors have publicly confirmed their readiness to fund it.

The gateway says Grimshaw was selected after a rigorous assessment from a shortlist of four of UK architects, which also included Zaha Hadid, HOK and Benoy.

Heathrow says Grimshaw was successful in the competitive tender process not only for their visionary concept designs, which pushed the boundary of what an airport could and should be, but also for their unique ideas around how Heathrow could be expanded in a sustainable but affordable way.

It says Grimshaw brings their experience of working on major transport projects across the world and were recognised as the stand out practice to help Heathrow deliver a world-class sustainable airport that will deliver innovation in passenger service whilst showcasing the best of British design.

Heathrow’s head of design, Barry Weekes says: “We look forward to working with Grimshaw to develop their bold ideas so that once the Government approves the Heathrow expansion, we can create a world-class sustainable hub airport which delivers for our passengers, our airlines and also helps to integrate Heathrow with our local communities.

“With the Concept Architect and Programme Client Partners now in place, we are now ready to begin the process of expansion once the Government makes the right choice for the whole of Britain.”

Partner at Grimshaw, Andrew Thomas says: “We believe the expansion of Heathrow is vital to maintaining the UK’s place within the global economy and we look forward to developing a design that provides an authentic and uniquely British sense of place. Our concept will deliver an outstanding passenger experience by building upon the airport’s rich history, while also setting a new standard for the future of aviation.”