The requirement was for a small terminal for the specific and sole use of Heads of State and Royalty. The building needed to accommodate all the normal functions of an international terminal but in addition be very secure, be able to handle the requirements of visiting heads of state and their entourages, with the suitable protocols and be away from the more public areas of the airport. Full press conference facilities were required. The building was to be a flagship gateway entrance to Britain and to reflect the best of British Design.
A simple single storey symmetrical plan was designed which, with its central avenue allowed for heads of state to disembark planes and walk, accompanied by greeting parties, through the building to waiting cavalcade cars. The arrivals are often the first, and therefore important stage of a State Visit. Either side of the Central Avenue are lounges, customs, immigration, entrance facilities and all back of house areas. The building has a Palladian plan and a simply expressed structural steel frame with profiled aluminium cladding. The intention was to produce a simple elegant building that would not age or look dated.
The project client was BAA but approval was needed from individuals and departments within Government generally, Downing Street, Buckingham Palace and many others. Issues of royal and state protocol, security and, of course, cost were all of paramount importance. Carpets, screens, lights, stonework and artwork by British artists and craftsmen were commissioned and integrated within our design.