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16 July 2014 | General News, Transport | By: BethPH

Architects Reveal Heathrow City Designs

Architects Reveal Heathrow City Designs

Three architects have unveiled their proposed designs for Heathrow City, if the existing airport closes in favour of another location.

The Heathrow designs come just days after reports said costs for an estuary airport could far exceed estimates (which we thought was a given for infrastructure projects but what do we know?) and have been commissioned by Transport for London (TfL) at a cost of £90,000. The mayor said:

"The demand for new homes and jobs in the capital is such that we must be ready to start redeveloping Heathrow the moment it moves to its new site. And the sooner we start planning the better."

The three Heathrow proposals aim to provide much-needed homes and jobs for London. Hawkins\Brown envisages a giant factory where people can order homes to their own specifications while Rick Mather Architects and Maccreanor Lavington are centred around living cities.

The Airports Commission is set to make a decision in 2015 on whether to opt for a third runway at Heathrow or back London mayor Boris Johnson's plan for an estuary airport. The consultation is open until 8 August.


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In addition to the estuary airport, another option is for Stansted to be "chosen" as the new hub and be transformed into a 4-runway airport, following which Heathrow could close and the land would free up.


A third runway for Heathrow is absolutely crazy as the existing noise level caused by plans landing at Heathrow is already too high. We've got Luton and Stansted and Gatwick airport which could easily be expanded. London is a growing city which needs more and more housing and not a bigger airport which creates more noise and hence a lower standard of living.
Personally, I don't think our politicians have the guts to go for a massive, 6-8 runway, estuary airport. Of course, initial costs would be high to create the infrastructure that's needed to support a estuary airport.
All they need is a long term vision and the Crossrail will be a massive success for London and the rest.


Anybody that doesn't see the need for a mega airport in London doesn't understand global economics in the 21st century. Merely expanding satellite airports won't work anymore. We are looking at competing with the rising Asian giants and already expanding powerhouses in Europe (Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, etc). London and the UK are losing out everyday we don't have a clear aviation strategy, and this government horribly failed. If we had built that third runway we could have eased things for a while, but not long. We are talking about this as if its an achievement, in Istanbul they're building an airport with 6 runways and 16 taxiways, and I won't even begin talking about China.

If we are serious, we should go ahead with the Estuary AND build a third runway. Expanding Gatwick or Stansted will only work if it is a mega expansion spread over 4 or 5 stages with the ultimate being a 5-6 runways mega airport with 5-6 terminals. But if we are going to do that and spend this much money we might as well just build the Thames Estuary airport. It's visually more attractive, it has the distinct advantage of being on its own thus no worries of locals and its totally greenfield meaning we can do whatever we want. But I am afraid this government is just too lame to make any moves. This issue is gone to bed till after the May elections.


Whilst accepting the predicament planners are facing, is it realistic to believe that there is any plan to move from Heathrow when millions have been spent on the recently opened new terminal there, not forgetting the further millions (billions?) spent on terminal 5 a few years ago?

Roger Manser

We don't need a new airport or runways anywhere near London. This is our city and does not belong to Boris. It (and the air above it) should be for all us and not BRIC businessmen. Any sensible government would instead have asked for a study on our national/international links, irrespective of mode: we could use rail and internet (existing and future) a lot more if these structures were better designed.

Roger Manser

And by the way I do understand economics, have worked in China and have traveled to all the other BRIC countries for business. In particular, I have yet to see a sensitivity analysis 20-30 years out, that looks at air traffic demand given higher fuel prices, modest controls on CO2, a really effective internet service, a competent European rail service and slower economic growth, as forecast by the IMF, World Bank etc.