The Most Beautiful Control Tower in the World Breaks Ground

Sensationally designed and simply breathtaking: work has officially started on the unique air traffic control tower, winner of the International Architecture Award 2016, one of the largest and most extensive global architecture awards programs in the world. Ahmet Arslan, Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication inaugurated the groundbreaking ceremony. Also in attendance were Orhan Birdal, Transport, Maritime and Communication Ministry Deputy Undersecretary; Funda Ocak, General Director of State Airports Authority of Turkey; IGA board members, as well as top executives of Pininfarina and AECOM, who designed the 96-meter-high ATC tower.

“Air traffic control towers have taken on a new significance in next-generation airports, becoming an architectural design icon in addition to offering functionality. We believe that this air traffic control tower, whose groundbreaking we celebrate today, will offer Istanbul a new city symbol and fascinate the aviation community with its unique design. With inspiration drawn from the tulip flower, a symbol in Turkish history and Istanbul’s rich cultural heritage, and with its aerodynamic shape, our tower will be visible to all passengers traveling between Europe and Asia. We see many of its counterparts in the US, the Gulf States, and Europe. Being the developer of the world’s largest airport, we stand out in this respect as well,” noted Yusuf Akçayoğlu, CEO of IGA Airports Construction at the ceremony.

“The laying of the corner stone is an important step towards the birth of this extraordinary building destined to become a real milestone for Istanbul. Today I’m particularly proud of this project as it’s the evidence that, with the right team, an outstanding and sculptural design – winner of the International Architecture Award – will become real,” said Paolo Pininfarina, Chairman of Pininfarina Group.

The tower will be delivered in six months. The construction of the terminal at Istanbul New Airport is also well advanced. With a gross floor area of 1.3 million square meters, it will be the world’s largest airport terminal under one roof. It will host around 100,000 square meters of duty-free outlets, making it the largest duty-free shopping experience in the world. Skylights will provide natural daylight, which will be diffused through the ceiling via focused beams of direct sunlight. This daylight will highlight key areas in the terminal such as check-in, security, passport control, and the retail environment.

The Airport City is also growing day by day. It will be the airport’s center of economic, cultural, and social life. Hotels, retail and commercial office spaces, mosques, medical centers, an expo and convention center, public spaces, and logistic centers will span an area of 690 hectares.