To accommodate the rising number of passengers at Copenhagen airport, a major expansion has commenced. The first construction known as Finger E requires every skill available to live up to strict requirements in terms of functionality and security.
Planes are popping in and out of a grey, heavyset layer of clouds, and rainwater turns the floors into elaborate mirrors that reflect concrete, steel, glass and the traffic in the sky above.
It is hard to imagine that this busy building site next year will accommodate thousands of passengers every day travelling to and from Copenhagen Airport. But to Chief Project Manager Henrik Wallentin Poulsen, every little nook and cranny has a specific function that meets the demands of the client.
When he pulls out his phone, he reveals a 3D rendition of the building visualising what it will eventually look like – even though the plans change continuously.
"You have to be quick on your feet. There are a lot of stakeholders and they all wish to influence the project. Often their interests clash – it may be great for the cleaning crew to work with shiny surfaces, but for the IT department it can be a pain because the shine will obstruct security cameras. I like the challenge though. When all is said and done, I will know everything about these buildings," Henrik Wallentin Poulsen explains.
WHERE ARE THE PASSENGERS?
One of the major challenges evolves around the question: Where are the passengers at a given point in time? And where are they going?
1,500 passengers an hour pass through the walkway by the construction site. The primary objective is to create something that can serve people who are continuously on the go, and also meet the vast number of security requirements.
Originally, the new Pier E was designed to consist of a three-storey main building and a support building covering a total of 22,000 m² connected by a small walkway. However, new security requirements meant that the airport had to think in new solutions, and the result was construction of a new 2,000 m² building.
Project Designer Stig Skeem explains:
"It is quiet a puzzle to make everything work together, such as predictions regarding air traffic over the next 10 years and the type of passengers we are designing for. One of the things I love about this project is that I never really know what new challenges are waiting for me."