In a list of the world’s biggest airports Heathrow sits comfortably in third position. The opening of Heathrow Terminal 2, will increase its people traffic to around 20 million more passengers a year, after costing an estimated £2.3 billion to build.
The original Terminal 2 was demolished in 2010, after numerous efforts to revive a structure that had experienced a series of knock backs, such as a bombing in 1984. The brand new terminal will show how Heathrow wants to eradicate any memory of its worn down predecessor. When you enter Terminal 2’s Covered Court, for example, you will pay witness to the largest permanent piece of artwork in Europe. British artist Richard Wilson created the sculpture named Slipstream, which is over 70 meters long and weighs in at 77 tonnes. Wilson explains his key thoughts behind the piece; “Slipstream is a metaphor for travel, it is a time-based work that responds to its location and I feel honoured that Slipstream will go on to be seen by millions of visitors travelling to and from the UK each year.”
Everything about the new terminal is designed for the passenger experience, and alongside the artwork there will be 63 different shops, bars and restaurants. Inside the Plaza Premium, Terminal 2’s only pay-per-visit lounge, customers will have the option to use the following facilities; eight sleeping suites, a business centre, shower rooms, private resting areas, Wi-Fi enabled workstations, and of course, another restaurant.
The project, which has taken years to complete, has shown that airports are becoming a place for visitors to experience a platform designed around culture and amenities, rather than just a complex of runways and buildings. The Queen will be opening the new terminal on the 23rd of June 2014.