In wine country, Rafael Viñoly Architects is designing a major new international terminal at Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci outside the historic city center of Florence, Italy. Upon completion, the terminal will serve almost 6 million international passengers. It will have six hubs for Arrivals and Departures connected to a low-lying glass volume that runs perpendicular to the more expansive airport area where ticketing, administration, passenger drop-off and pick-up, and other logistical activities take place.
To accommodate the massive passenger volume, the new terminal will encompass 538,195 square feet. It will be linked to Florence, and the region more broadly, with multi-modal transportation options, including a new light rail system.
At the new terminal, Rafael Viñoly Architects imbues the green roof typology with new meaning. A first for airport design, the terminal will have a 19-acre vineyard on its roof that slopes upward to embrace the sky-lit terminal. The roof will have 38 rows of productive vineyards, helping contribute to its tentative LEED Platinum sustainability rating while crystallizing Italy’s rich artisanal traditions. The green roof will be cultivated by a leading vintner from the region; the wine it produces will be crafted and aged in specialized cellars beneath the terminal’s roof.
The rooftop will be supported by innovative, tensegral structural columns. Ribbed apertures will drench the interiors with natural light. The expansive sweeping space is designed to maximize comfort for users, and simplify wayfinding.
The new terminal seeks to reorient the existing airport runway 90 degrees, making the strip perpendicular to nearby hills. This will allow for a much longer runway, solving a problem that aircrafts have faced at Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci for some time now.
Rafael Viñoly Architects’s also seeks to create a sense of place, or genius loci, and improve overall passenger experience. Toward that end, the terminal reorients Arrivals and Departures to face each other across a generous public space, or piazza, at the center of the new terminal. This should improve circulation and streamline connectivity to mass transit, parking, and retail.
The new terminal will be built in two phases. Phase one is slated for completion in 2026, and phase two in 2035.