The large-scale project of the British architect with the participation of the Spanish studio "Estudio Lamela" became the best in the competition held back in 1997. Terminal 4 and its "satellite" Terminal 4a are connected by an underground railway line; it is used by computer-controlled trains that do not need drivers.
Together they will receive 35 million passengers a year, thus raising the airport's turnover to 65 million people (from 53 to 120 flights per hour). As a result, Barajas entered the top five largest airports on the continent. Within five years, it should take second place, becoming the main transport hub connecting Europe and Latin America.
In general, the plan, which includes the construction of a double terminal, two runways, a parking lot for 9.5 thousand cars and a control tower, cost 6 billion euros.
With an area of 1,100,000 sq. m the complex can also be called one of the largest structures in Europe.
The most striking detail of the project is the undulating roof protruding far above the building itself. From the inside, it is sheathed with thin bamboo plates. It is supported by rainbow-colored metal supports.
To emphasize the original shape of the building, the architect tried to avoid being surrounded by various ancillary structures in order to make it stand out from the surrounding scorched hills.
Although the competition was not required to submit an environmentally friendly design, Rogers paid sufficient attention to the sustainable use of resources in the operation of the building. Wide roof overhangs and additional steel elements protect the walls from overheating during the hot summer months. At the same time, rounded openings in the ceilings allow natural light to penetrate into the depths of the building thanks to special "canyons" cutting through three above-ground - passenger (there are also three underground - cargo) levels of the terminal. However, they do not affect the temperature inside the building in any way.
The internal structure of the terminal is easy to read by the visitor, so passengers will have no difficulty moving through it.
The terminal plan is designed for further extensions and additions that can be made at minimal cost.