The T4 as One of the Greatest Architectural Works of the 21st Century
The prestigious newspaper The Guardian has selected the T4 of Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport as one of the 25 greatest architectural works of the 21st century. Designed by Richard Rogers and Estudio Lamela in 2005, it has become a worldwide benchmark in architecture of the last decades.
The British publishing company points out that the T4, ranked 18th in this classification, “achieved a rare thing: an airport that doesn’t make you desperate to escape.” On the contrary: “From its gently undulating bamboo ceiling, to its forest of rainbow-colored branching columns, to the large circular openings that bring daylight deep into its lower levels, it provides a soothing balm for the stresses of international travel”, the newspaper notes.
The Guardian also observes the brilliant relation between light and sound: “|The terminal] designed by Estudio Lamela has a calming quality that is hard to convey in photographs, from the soft acoustic to the merciful lack of fluorescent lighting.”
The T4 is defined by three buildings: One is a carpark of 310,000 sqm with 9,000 parking spaces, to which another terminal building has been added. The building was designed for local and Schengen flights (those bound for countries within the EU) in which 175 check-in counters and 38 boarding gates are distributed. The third one is a Satellite Building that accommodates non-Schengen international flights of the (then) new terminal. It covers almost 300,000 sqm and includes 26 aircraft stands. Along with T1, T2, and T3 it has the capacity to welcome 70 million passengers per year.
“That the T4 is included in this ranking reaffirms that good architecture makes sense only if it’s capable of improving people’s lives,” says Carlos Lamela, the president of Estudio Lamela.