Heathrow, Terminal 2A, top level entrance from vehicle drop-off point, nearing completion, 30 January 2014.

The departures hall of Heathrow Terminal 2A.

The gate area in Heathrow’s Terminal 2.

Exterior of Heathrow Terminal 2A.

Heathrow,Terminal 2A, close to completion, Baggage Reclaim hall, 23 December 2013.

Over the past few years, thedesignair.net team based in London have seen the 1955 version of Terminal 2 get knocked down and rebuilt ready for 2014, and its now starting to become one of the best examples of terminal architecture the UK have seen for a while.

They say the devil is in the details, and that is apparent here. While the interior echoes the simplistic and exposed design found in Terminal 5, the use of materials seems a little more considered here. The use of wood in certain areas are a nod to the interiors found in Madrid Barajas terminal 4, in which concept and lead architect Luis Vidal was Project Director.

The roof is the prominent and most recognizable feature of Terminal 2. Conceived as a lightweight structure resembling early airplanes, this feature is unique and this floating, undulating enclosure serves three different purposes. To serve as markers between check-in, security and the departure lounge, to provide steady light quality and to utilize natural light from the north to reduce the carbon footprint of the terminal.

Costing £2.5bn the terminal, which will serve 20million passengers per year is built with sustainability in mind. 20% of the terminals energy needs will be from renewable sources. offer one square kilometer of solar panels and is expected to save around 13,000 tons of CO2 a year compared to the use of natural gas and grid electricity.

Home to Star Alliance carriers and Little Red, Aer Lingus, and Germanwings, the main terminal building offers:

  • A satellite building – T2B (connected to T2A via an underground walkway)
  • A 1,340 space multi-story carpark
  • An energy centre
  • 66 self-service kiosks
  • 60 fast bag drops – which can also be configured for traditional use
  • 56 traditional check-in desks
  • Check-in will be large enough to accommodate 3,000 passengers per hour
  • 24 security lanes (17 for economy passengers, 4 Fast Track and 3 for staff and crew)
  • Approximately 600 Security Officers, 30 Passenger Service Ambassadors and 70 Service Team Leaders.
  • A new sculpture from British artist Richard Wilson RA, located in the covered court (measuring 70 meters, weighing 77 tons and suspended 18 meters in the air between two passenger walkways).