Cologne Bonn Airport Terminal 2 / Cologne, Germany/ 1992‑2000
Size: 742,700 sq ft / 69,000 sq m
Status: Completed 2000
Recognition: Deutscher Stahlbau Award
The existing Cologne Bonn Airport was a landmark in the landscape to approaching passengers. However, as passenger volume, aircraft circulation, and security demands shifted, a significant reconfiguration of Cologne’s transportation network became necessary. Jahn’s expansion of the Cologne Bonn Airport created a major intermodal transportation hub that includes a new passenger terminal, high-speed rail station, parking structures, bus station, road reconfigurations, and an expanded existing terminal.
Terminal 2 at the Cologne Bonn Airport presented the first iteration in a series of buildings that aim to create an exterior envelope with self-adapting qualities. This was achieved through the overlaying of various panels upon the skeletal structure, each crafted toward a defined function. The modular panels are mounted to folded plate trusses and allow light transmission, weatherproofing, interior and exterior heat absorption, acoustic dampening, and ventilation. Conditioned air is supplied to the departure hall via freestanding air columns integrated into the steel trees supporting the roof.
The new airport building is constructed of prefabricated steel and glass components on an exposed concrete substructure, creating a very light and transparent appearance. The expansion translates the horizontal language and repetitive long-span structural expression of the existing terminal into the modern era of airport design.
The lightweight structure and transparent façades offer uninterrupted views of the runway and the dropoff area, achieving a continuous visual experience for the user. The passenger is relieved of complex orientation decisions and guided effortlessly to their destination.