The revamping of the Linate terminal has involved architectural and functional refurbishment, with a substantial change of the passenger flows and of a considerable part of the existing terminal (also including the check‑in, security and duty free areas) across 5,400m2, together with the construction of a new three-storey building featuring a new shopping gallery and food court at a total investment of €40 million.
Linate Airport, dating back to 1950, has seen a varying array of architectural choices over the years, leaving it in a state of obsolescence not fitting the importance of the gateway to Milan – the city representing Italian design.
After modernising the building façade in 2018, the ‘Architectural Restyling and Ambience’ project began, aiming to completely refurbish the terminal interior in order to improve customer satisfaction.
The project fused architectural harmonisation and interior design, implementing a ‘green’ vision, with a particular eye on comfort and finish quality. Furthermore, a smooth passenger experience is ensured through the implementation of innovative technologies and the use of automation (smart security, biometrics, common self-bag drop, etc). To carry out the work and minimise the impact on airport operations, a temporary terminal was built in prefabricated elements on the aircraft apron close to the terminal to replace the gates that were being renovated.
The first impact is clear upon entering the departure area: the check-in area has been re-styled, proposing a new identity that characterises the spaces, atmosphere and the materials of the new terminal. The terminal’s ‘new image’ has been designed with great consideration, incorporating both the principles of formal and material quality and environmental sustainability. The perceptions and movements of both passengers and airport operators have been analysed according to the most innovative neuroscience methodologies in order to create the proper visual and acoustic comfort. A new vertical pathway (escalators, stairs and a high-capacity lift) has been built for passengers coming from the new Linate M4 underground station to the check-in area.
Green canopies and dropped ceilings
The project includes the refurbishment of the double-height space with a system of roof gardens, with plants and shrubs overlooking the first floor, creating a green, spacious atmosphere. The dropped ceilings have been upgraded, substituting the existing ones with wooden-like slats alternating with plasterboard sails, drawing attention to the surrounding space and giving uniformity and cleanliness to the design. An integrated lighting system will emphasise the curved lines of the sails and the LED profiles alternating with the slats.
The desks have been re-styled according to the SEA brand, with a design characterised by soft edges
and functionally, bridging the relationship between operator and customer thanks to the front support
shelf with brass coating, treated with acid‑etching processes. An accent lighting system with an overlooking band, in line with the design of the counters, completes the ambience.
A new security area
In October 2020, the new security area was inaugurated. It was designed for passengers’ needs thanks to technologies and architectural elements that grant a highly innovative travel experience, once again applying neuroscience to architectural design. In fact, particular attention was given to the colours and materials used for the walls, floors and dropped ceilings. Lights and spaces have been optimised to reduce passenger anxiety, which is usually elevated when passing through security checks.
The works for functional reconfiguration and architectural renovation have involved the one‑storey part of the terminal known as ‘Corpo F’ (Block F). It has been completely demolished in order to build a new three-storey building with a total surface of approximately 10,000m2, with a significant change in passenger flows, the widening of boarding areas, a new shopping gallery and a new food court thanks to a double-height space with an overhanging ‘sail’. Corpo F has been BREEAM-in-use certified as ‘excellent’.
To amplify the sense of place in tune with Milan, the avant-garde and as a symbol of Italian design to the world, historical works by renowned Italian designers have been placed along the passenger journey thanks to an important partnership with the Milan Triennale Design Museum. This enriches the cultural value of the terminal and gives it a sense of identity. From the security area via the walk-through duty‑free, passengers reach a wide central double‑height plaza and a shopping gallery characterised by a curvilinear development.
Twenty‑three (versus the existing 13) shops are expected, newly renovated and featuring Italian luxury brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna and so on.
From the central plaza, a double vertical path takes passengers to the food court on the second floor and, after the shopping gallery, leads to the ground floor to the bus boarding gates and boarding bridge gates.
Most parts of the second floor will be dedicated to the food court (managed by HMS Host), looking down onto the plaza below and the apron; a wide VIP lounge will be created, together with a workstation area, a smoking area and two new restrooms for passengers.
On the ground floor, more space has been given to remote gates A1 to A8 and their pre‑boarding areas, with new ramps onto the apron. Behind them are shops and a food area. The restrooms have been completely re-styled and re-built to include a nursery, a breastfeeding area and baby changing facilities.
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