London architecture firm wins bid for Russia’s World Cup airport

2 October 2013

London group Twelve Architects has won the bid to develop a £607m airport terminal in Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia that will serve football fans visiting during the 2018 World Cup. Their “risky” design was chosen from a shortlist of 11 architectural firms, both Russian and British, including airport specialists Pascall & Watson and Haptic.

Looking beyond the World Cup event, the Yuzhny Greenfield Airport will be developed to meet the demand of five million passengers a year with offices, a hotel, a business centre and a high-speed railway network that will connect Moscow, Rostov-on-Don and Sochi, home to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The jury described the design put forward by Twelve Architects as “memorable and unique”. Jivan Vartanian, transport minister for the Rostov on Don region, said: “Twelve Architects' project may look too risky but in future it will become the most advanced.”

The design makes reference to the River Don, which runs through the port city, with a central feature that connects the airport terminal to the train station, car park, hotel and office buildings. A statement from the firm said that a series of bridges and roof arches bring to life the concept that an airport is a “sky-bridge” that connects cities and countries together.

On the ambitious nature of the design, Matt Cartwright, founding director of Twelve Architects, said: “We are currently working with the client to produce technical details and systems that are affordable and comply with Russian regulations whilst still retaining the concept.”

Twelve Architects is also working on a number of other Russian projects including an airport in the Perm, and a shopping centre, multi-storey car park, multipurpose sports venue and residential tower in Yekaterinburg.