We are all familiar with Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina and its long list of beautifully designed cars starting from 1930. What some of us may not known is that the Italian design house has expanded its expertise beyond automotive design. The Air Traffic Control Tower in the recently inaugurated New Istanbul Airport is just one of the many projects in other areas. The airport is expected to accommodate up to 90 million passengers in the first year and eventually up to 200 million passengers per year.
The architecture possesses two distinct control areas positioned at different altitudes and offers a guaranteed 360° view for the air traffic controllers. A collaboration between Pininfarina and engineering company AECOM, the ATC Tower is inspired by the shape of the tulip, which is a symbol of Istanbul for many centuries and an important cultural reference in Turkish history. Pininfarina has used its design DNA made of pure, elegant lines and aerodynamic shapes for creating the elliptical shaped tower, appearing to be sculpted by the wind.
Other than visual observation of the air traffic, the tower also serves as the main hub for staff where they can sleep, eat, work, learn, play and rest, planned based around their daily activities. Sustainability is highly integrated into the design, utilising high-efficiency glass for natural day light, and solar energy for supplying hot water and generating electricity.