Carrasco International Airport
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Carrasco International Airport

Edited By Redazione The Plan - 6 April 2011

Carrasco Airport, Montevideo, dates from 1947 and has recently expanded with the addition of a new arrivals and departures terminal coping with a flow of some million passengers per year.
The new building designed by Rafael Viñoly stands out for its monolithic sickle-shaped roof. This is 80 metres wide and 366 long. 150 metres of this length covers the building proper, while 108 juts out in broad eaves at either end. The glass walls of the see-through building lean outwards and reach for the sky. Arrivals occupy the ground floor, departures the first floor. Above that a broad visitors’ platform contains a restaurant with views of the runway and the main foyer. As a whole this impressive structure is deceptive: the sheer size of the roof would suggest massive weight, yet it seems to float upon the filigree frame structure. The sense of lightness is enhanced by a studied use of colour and materials: white and silver-grey, glass, metal and polished stone.
Daylight plays a key role throughout, backed up by Ricardo Hofstadter’s lighting concept which hinges on the choice of strict indirect illumination of the curving roof canopy using a single quality of light inside and out and thus highlighting the contours of this impressive architectural landmark. Indoors Hofstadter opted for ERCO Parscoop IV ceiling washlights mounted on the horizontal booms of the spaceframe structure. Fitted with high-efficiency metal halide lamps, they shed a glare-free light and confine the connected load to a mere 14W/m2. Indirect lighting of the roof canopy continues outside with compact ERCO Powercast projectors for metal halide lamps mounted on the railing that lines the approach ramp. The characteristic “oval” flooding beam from Spherolit reflectors creates a soft uniform glow. High over the departure gates the glass roof reveals the sky above.
Here Optec spotlights discreetly integrated into the support struts give a concentrated direct light, metal halide lamps again being used. In the retail, VIP and restaurant zones we find recessed Gimbal spotlights for 35 and 70W metal halide lamps which, with their cardan suspension, enable the beam to be precisely aimed. Integration of architecture and lighting is a key feature of the new Montevideo terminal which rises as a striking landmark, a symbol of modernity and welcome to visitors.

 

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