June saw the announcement of a brand new pier at Zurich’s International Airport. After over 35 years in operation, Dock A has now reached the end of its life cycle and has to be replaced. In its place, will sit a brand new and stunning construction, brought to life by the teams at BIG, HOK and 10:8 Architekten.  

“Raumfachwerk” as it will be known, will take 10 years in total to complete, which will also include the dismantling of the existing ‘dock’ which will remain in operation during the works in order to facilitate a smooth transition with as minimal impact to airport operations as possible.

The design – one of ten submitted – was selected by a jury of 11 from a range of fields, chaired by Basel-based architect Harry Gugger. This winning design will see Zurich Airport have one of the largest airport piers constructed largely of wood. 

Sustainability is at the very core of this project. The new Dock A will be built largely from sustainable wood on the passenger levels – which is so far unique for a terminal building of this size. The whole surface of the new dock’s roof and the dock base will also be coated with photovoltaics, covering around two thirds of the dock’s annual electricity requirement. The new building will thus make a major contribution to Flughafen Zürich AG’s ambitious CO2 reduction strategy.

While there will be disruption in the short term, including the closure of SWISS’s award winning Alpine lounge (date still to be announced), the eventual new Dock A will provide passengers with an enhanced experience. Including a better view of the apron, thanks to the large windows, and spacious waiting areas at the gates. The retail and culinary offering in the new dock base will also be expanded.

It’s a striking new design, with the pyramidical motif running through the dock reflecting the alpine environment, and thanks to the use of natural materials, the new pier has a soothing, calm tone, that is perfect for relaxing passengers pre-flight. The central, multi-story atrium that connects the new pier to the existing terminal will also act as an impactful entry space into the new passenger experience.

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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