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Western Sydney Airport terminal will be up there with the best of them

When it opens in 2026, the terminal of Western Sydney Airport will be up there with the world’s best. But as well as the “wow” factor, the terminal design will have input from western suburbs design and architecture students.

Firms pitching for the project will have to outline how they plan to involve university students with a link to Western Sydney.

“This is an incredible opportunity for architecture or design students who study or live in Western Sydney to be a part of this once-in-a-generation project,” says Western Sydney Airport CEO Graham Millett.

WSA Co has just called for expressions of interest from firms with experience designing a comparable airport in the past five years.

Firms are being asked to team up with university students with a link to Western Sydney to pitch for a chance to design Western Sydney Airport’s terminal.

“We’re going to ensure that Western Sydney will be proud of the airport’s terminal – but we want a design that prioritises pleasing our future passengers,” Mr Millett said.

“If you look at airports around the world, Singapore’s Changi Airport (pictured) is regularly voted the world’s best – the design of its famous Terminal 4 was focussed more on offering passengers a world class experience than the external look.”

Mr Millett said that like Changi, Western Sydney Airport’s terminal will be designed from the inside out.

“We’ll not only offer the smoothest possible journey from the terminal entrance to the aircraft gate, but we want the terminal to be a destination in itself,” he said.

“Think retail, restaurants and entertainment before you go through security, streamlined processing, lots of space and light, and a terminal that’s reliable, fun and easy to find your way around.

“When they’re inside the terminal – that’s when we want visitors to say ‘wow’ – we’re aiming for it to be selfie central.”

Western Sydney Airport will have a combined international and domestic terminal, with the first stage to open in 2026, designed to cater for up to 10 million passengers a year.

The terminal will be designed to grow in stages without disrupting passengers, becoming the largest gateway to Australia in the 2060s, catering for more than 80 million passengers a year.

Following the open call for entries, potential terminal designs will go through a competitive process, with a final design being chosen by a panel that will be finalised in coming months.

The final terminal design is expected to be unveiled by the end of 2019.

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