The concept for the new international airport of Zagreb in Croatia has been designed by De Architekten Cie as part of a competition. The architects have tried to create the most sustainable airport possible with lightweight tensile structures as the starting point. In collaboration with ARUP they developed a triple layer tensile roof which spans between major structural arches of concrete. The thickened membrane roof is an attempt at creating a performative pocket since it serves multiple functions:
- it is pressurized and thus acts as insulation.
- it houses all the conduits and ducts for all mechanical, electrical, and fire suppression systems.
- its multiple semi-transparent layers control natural daylight to minimize the use of electricity.
- it acts as a noise barrier against the sound of the airplanes.
Furthermore the concrete arches supporting the membranes are thermally activated to both heat and cool the terminal building depending on the season. Within the building and site plan there are a host of other sustainable measures, far too long and boring to describe here.