Frankfurt Airport is on course for growth: The new Terminal 3 is scheduled to be ready by the time 2026 summer flight schedule begins – and it will include a new parking garage. When designing the façade, the project developers opted for architectural mesh from GKD. This provides fresh air inside the building and more besides.
With over 70 million passengers in 2019, Frankfurt Airport is one of Europe’s largest flight hubs. With the launch of the new Terminal 3, which is currently under construction, passenger numbers are set to rise by a further 19 million. The new building will include three gates, the main terminal building, and a station for the new Sky Line train – as well as an ultra modern parking garage on a scale that has not been seen in Germany before. Once the building is complete, it will provide 8,500 parking spaces over an area of 240,000 square meters – equivalent to 34 soccer fields – spread over eight floors. Numerous parking spaces for e-vehicles and e-bikes are also planned. Despite the gigantic dimensions of the building, a pedestrian bridge and fourteen stair towersr will ensure short walking distances between parking areas and the main terminal building.
With a construction of this size and a tight schedule, every element needs to fit seamlessly with the next one. That is why the operating company, Fraport AG, decided on a parking garage system from general contractor Goldbeck. The steel and concrete parts are produced in advance at the company’s own plants and simply require assembly onsite. Efficiency and functionality were also key in selecting the fabric for the façades, as ventilation is an important criterion in parking garages.
Façade material that allows natural air exchange saves huge costs that would otherwise be incurred for an artificial ventilation system. In addition, the architect and the engineering office also wanted the 400 and 200-meter-long façade surfaces of the two structures to serve a design function. They opted for Omega Divergence cable mesh. Sebastian Rick, Project Manager for Architecture Mesh at GKD, explains why: “Omega Divergence gives architects enormous flexibility in designing façades, as different opening sizes can be woven seamlessly within a panel.” At the same time, it supports natural ventilation, protects against driving rain, and is extremely durable. What is more, recycled stainless steel is used in its production, which contributes to the airport operator’s sustainable building concept. Tigris cable mesh is used as the frame for the Omega Divergence panels and on the stair towers, which also lend visual structure to the building. This not only forms a contrast in design to Omega Divergence, but it also ensures fall protection along the stairs.
In all, the area of the building complex clad with GKD fabric totals more than 28,000 square meters – the largest panels used were fitted on the stairwell and measure around 27 x 7 meters. The project was also a challenge for the experts from GKD: “We were in close contact with Goldbeck right from the start to ensure on-time production and delivery,” says Rick. Thanks to precise planning, the panels were produced cost-effectively and fitted according to the tight schedule. This gave an unusual result for a major construction project: large sections of the building were completed ahead of schedule. “It was a very cooperative and constructive partnership”, says Engin Aydin, Construction Manager at Goldbeck. “Only the fabric at the service area, which forms the western end of the parking garage, still needs to be installed. This will be done in the near future.” And so the mega-project will be completed in no time at all.