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April 2016

Istanbul’s New Airport Tower by AECOM and Pininfarina will feature a traditional tulip design in a technologically advanced structure.

AECOM and Pininfarina – an unusual combination of the global infrastructure firm and the Italian car design firm responsible for Ferrari and Alfa Romeo – were named at the end of last year to create an “iconic structure” for the air control tower at Istanbul New Airport. Selected by İGA, the company founded in 2013 to manage the construction and operation of the New Airport, the team won against competition that included Zaha Hadid, Moshe Safdie, and three other architects.

“One of the world’s largest aviation projects, Istanbul New Airport’s air traffic control tower will be an iconic structure, visible to all passengers travelling through the airport. We were looking for a striking design fit for a 21st century airport while remaining sensitive to Istanbul’s unique heritage,” said Yusuf Akçayoğlu, chief executive officer of İGA, in announcing the winners of the competition.

Symbol for Istanbul

According to a press release from İGA, “The AECOM and Pininfarina design evokes the aerodynamic forms used in automotive and aviation design and includes an elliptical tower that will be visible to all passengers flying in and out of the new airport. The tower shape is inspired by the tulip, which has been the symbol of Istanbul for many centuries and is an important cultural reference in Turkish history.”

It is the first time that AECOM and Pininfarina have partnered. “Our approach to this competition was to combine the expertise of a different design industry with AECOM’s in-house aviation architecture and engineering capabilities,” said Bernardo Gogna, senior vice president and director of global aviation at AECOM. “Our goal was to bring Pininfarina’s values, which are grounded in tradition and craftsmanship, to the world of aviation.”

Paolo Pininfarina, chairman of Pininfarina, added: “Our aim, as with all our projects, was to develop a bespoke idea that embodied our partner’s design identity while at the same time bringing a new aesthetic perspective. By leveraging the unique combination of our 85 years’ experience in design – from cars to super yachts, and from luxury products to furniture – with our architectural knowledge gained from several projects around the world, we have been able to create a technologically advanced structure of distinctive character.”

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