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Poland: Construction between Warsaw and Łodz of the $8bn air-land transport centre.

Foster + Partners and Buro Happold to design Poland's $8 billion air-rail transit hub.

The developer of the $8 billion CPK air-road-rail transit hub has chosen British architect Foster + Partners and consulting engineer Buro Happold as the main contractors for the terminal, rail station and public transport interchange.

Foster's design includes a landside interchange plaza, filled with natural light and lush greenery. This plaza connects the platform's three modes of transport: air, rail and road.

Grant Booker, studio leader at Foster, said the aim was to create "a model for the future of fully integrated transport design".

The selection process

The company set up to develop an $8bn transport hub between Warsaw and Łodz in Poland had invited tenders for consultants to oversee the project's design documentation.

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) was looking for a company that will ensure that the design work carried out on the Solidarity Transport Hub by the lead architect and civil engineer is technically accurate and complete.

The tender will be the fifth issued by KPC. Previous competitions have been for the lead architect, airport infrastructure designer, lead civil engineer and support infrastructure engineer.

Six firms submitted designs for the airport: Pascall + Watson, Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Parners, Grimshaw and Chapman Taylor from the UK, and Kohn Pedersen Fox from the US.

The CPK, which stands for "Centralny Port Komunikacyjny", or solidarity transport hub, will be built between Warsaw and Łodz.

The hub will include an international airport, a 2,000 km network of mainly high-speed rail lines and motorways. There will also be an airport city, with facilities for trade fairs and conferences.

It will connect air passengers to a 2,000 km network of mostly high-speed railways and motorways. There will also be an airport city, including trade fair and conference facilities.

A world super league

The airport will be located in Baranow County, about 40 km west of Warsaw. Construction will start next year and is expected to be completed in 2027. It will have two runways and an annual capacity of 40 million passengers. It will later join the world super league of four-runway airports with a capacity of 100 million passengers.

The high-speed rail part will include a line between Warsaw and Łodz and another to Frankfurt-am-Oder.

When the platform is completed, CPK hopes it will allow passengers and freight to reach Kraków, Wrocław, Poznan and Gdansk in less than two hours. It adds that the International Air Transport Association predicts that by 2060 Solidarity Airport will attract around 850 million passengers and more than 35 million tonnes of air cargo to Poland.

The value of the design contract is €150 million. Foster + Partners' bid was selected from a shortlist of candidates including Zaha Hadid Architects, WSP, Dar Al-Handasah, Perkins & Will and Kohn Pedersen Fox.

KPC wanted the design to stipulate a modular construction to make the facility efficient to build and scalable. When the first phase is completed in 2028, passenger throughput will be 40 million, rising to 65 million by 2060.


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