Tower for Sondica Airport is an individual element in the program to
modernize the Bilbao¹s airport complex. Due to the urgent need for improved
air-traffic control, the construction of the tower was given priority over
all other airport facilities, and the commission for its design was awarded
through a separate, limited competition.
directly opposite the Sondica terminal, with a commanding view of the third
oblique runway, the control tower is clearly divided into three components.
The symmetrical ramped base, with its inclined frontal glazing, houses
technical facilities in one wing and administrative offices in the other.
The mast, on a teardrop plan, expands toward its top while rising to a
height of 42 meters. The control deck (which also is a truncated and
inverted cone) has a wrap-around observation gallery, which provides access
to the tower¹s mechanical and electronic systems.
Calatrava had wished to provide full 360 degree glazing for the air-traffic
control level by using a single central pillar of concrete to carry the
loads of the roof. The proposal for this central pillar was not approved,
however, and a series of steel profiles now supports the roof around its
structure is concrete, covered in a vertically fluted, aluminum cladding
hung on an intermediate structure. Vertical, glazed panels run the full
height of the ³trailing edge² of the teardrop shape to provide light to the
stairwell, while the lift shaft is housed within the front radius.
Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aerea