Prague International Airport Ruzyne, Terminal 1

Prague 6, Ruzyne, realization, collaboration with Michal Brix in association with Scott Associates, Toronto, Canada

- realization of the new Departure Hall, Proccesor and Pier A


- VI. Mies van der Rohe Pavilion Award for European Architecture - Nomination for Czech Republic, Barcelona Spain

- Finalist of Grand Prix of Czech Architecture Award 1998

- Nomination for "Building of the Year" award 1998

- Award: Engineering Academy of CR Award 1998

- Prague´s Lord Mayor Award for exceptionally high-quality architectural work carried out in the period 1989-1999

Building program:

This is an expansion of the existing terminal complex in the northern and eastern directions. In the airport building, passengers have access to commercial and dining facilities and to spacious halls with a direct view of the airport area. The current area of the airport building will increase from 24,000 m to 72,800 m , plus an additional 48,800 m , which cover other areas. The number of aircraft parking areas will increase to 26, and some of them will be of a sufficient size to allow the parking of the largest aircraft type, the Boeing 747.

Design Criteria

The terminal Departure Hall and the entrance marquee are designed as a visual whole, suggesting aviation themes and morphology through the construction of trusses and purlins. The roof of the departure hall has an aerodynamic shape and is completely different from the existing construction. The entrance facade of the new building is designed low so that it would not complete with the existing terminal. The marquee of the new building has an exposed structure which complements the enclosed marquee of the existing building.

All machinery equipment on the roof (Pier A and Pier B) is housed behind screens made of metal panels that are consistent with the facade. These walls have a wavy top edge which evokes the curve of the roof of the Departure Hall. The siding of the building is mostly composed of glass. On levels 3 and 4, the facade is formed by a combination of metal panes and glass areas. The grey-silver panels are designed so that the area articulated by the grid of dividing joints achieve the maximum effect. The smoked glass should contrast with the blue-grey glass of the terminal tower and the transparent glass of the terminal building. The roofing on the curved areas is grey-silver.

The dominant feature of the interior in the new terminal hall is the actual structure of the roof with visible trusses.

Traffic and clearance of passengers and luggage.

Passengers clearance is one-level. The departure and arrival part is designed on one level, the third level of the structure (363). The arrival part is located in the existing building, and the departure part is in the new terminal. Luggage clearance - the sorting room is on level 2 where the sorting carousels are located, to which luggage is transported from the check-in counters on the third level via a conveyor belt system.

Construction structures and materials

The terminal hall of the airport has a rectangular shape of 34,5 x 105 m. The height of the hall fluctuates from 6,6 to 13,5 m. The hall is divided into two expansion sections. The roofing is made of a steel structure. The trusses are open-web girders welded of seamless steel tubes. They are made with a spacing of 12,6 m as two parallel elements.

The purlins are designed simply in the shape of garlands. Again, they are made of tubes. The solidity is lightened. The roof coating is made of thin, contoured sheet-metal. The cantilever on the north side by steel columns which, in connection with the transoms, form a frame structure ensuring the solidity of the construction in the longitudinal direction. On the south side, the load-bearing structure is formed by a monolithic tube supported by columns and walls. The trusses and beams of the marquee are tied to this component so that they form a continuous structure together with the tube and the supporting columns. This structure then ensures the stability of the building both in longitudinal and lateral directions.

The connecting corridor is constructed similarly. The only difference is that the truss has a different shape. This part forms an independent expansion section. The annex to the clearance hall will also form an expansion section. Its structure will be the same as the new hall. The materials designed to be used are available or manufactured in the Czech Republic.


The construction took place while the airport remained fully operational, an extremely difficult task from operational, technical, and organizational point of view. Construction IV effectively began with the laying of the cornerstone on 26 June 1995 in the presence of top government officials, the Magistrate of the Capital City of Prague, the participating firms, the investror´s leading representative, and a number of important personalities.

The first phase was finished in April 1996. On 14 May 1996, in the presence of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transportation, and the Mayor of Prague, the operation of "Pier B" was ceremonially opened as the first part of the new terminal complex. So-called "Pier B" has six waiting rooms and currently three mobile telescopic bridges. The second level includes waiting rooms for those passengers who will be transported by bus to the remote operational parking areas. In this respect, the existing airport facilities were temporarily modified, and some demolition work was done. Exterior work in the first phase entailed the construction of the new terminal area, laying the concrete for the so-called "eye III" with an area of 4600 m for 7 operational parking areas for category C aircraft, modifications and additions to the taxiway system, and the construction of parking lots for employees, visitors, and passengers. The new access road, including an overpass intersection, was completed.

The second phase includes the Terminal building - Departure Hall and Processor. The original Gallery A was demolished. A new terminal is already standing in its place, designated for departing international passengers. Part of the second phase is the new "Pier A" with eight mobile, telescopic loading bridges and all other technological equipment. Second phase was opened 3rd June 1997.

The third phase of construction (opened in November 1997) includes the reconstruction of the existing terminal building, which is exclusively serving as the international arrivals section of the Terminal complex. And the end of November 1997, the so-called construction IV of the airport was finished.

After its completion, the entire terminal complex of the north complex has the planned capacity.

The 4th development (the expansion of the terminal) was divided into two constructions. The 1st construction was the construction of the actual terminal structure including both Piers A and B. The 2nd construction included all "exterior" structures (i.e. ground and underground structures, roads, parking lots, and utilities networks).

The new building construction was divided into three phases. The total, originally scheduled time of construction was 29 months. Construction began on 26 June 1995 and was finished in May 1997. Construction lasted 23 months.

Transportation Design

A result of the realization of the construction of the "International Prague-Ruzyně Airport, terminal expansion, 4th development was the extensive reconstruction of the existing transportation system on the landside of the north clearance terminal. The realized transportation system is in accordance with the general building plan for Ruzyně Airport from 1992 and sets a new transportation layout for the additional, planned construction development of the airport in this area. The new four-lane, directionally-divided, arrival road to the airport´s northern section is connected to the existing transportation network in the southwest sector of the overpass intersection on the 1/7 road at the town of Přední Kopanina. The crossing of the arrival road with the existing road which connects the north and south parts of the airport is facilitated by an overpass intersection with a monolithic 3-bay bridge structure with a continuous slab load-bearing structure made of secondary tensioned concrete, mounted on reinforced concrete supports.

The transportation system on the landside of the north clearance terminal is one-way. The basic framework is made of one-lane and two-lane roads with additional lanes which ensure arrival to the loading edge of the clearance terminal, to the bus stops of airline companies and public transportation to parking lots for employees and the public, and to parking stands for buses and taxis.

The number of parking places has been significantly increased in the landside area.


The clearance area at Ruzyně Airport remained practically unchanged since its construction in the 60s. Minor modifications and expansions took place over the years, but the concept and use stayed the same. That means that the clearance area did not allow the introduction of modern clearance via loading bridges. The clearance of aircraft with the highest coding (aircraft with wing spans exceeding 52 m) was only possible under the acceptance of extraordinary measures, and operation during peak hours placed high demands on air traffic control ground personnel.

Therefore, in connection with the construction completion of the terminal building and the transition to an upgraded clearance standard, a radical reconstruction of the apron had to be done, including the modification of the connecting taxiway. So practically every movement restricted the other aircraft. By expanding the apron and building clearance piers with loading bridges, the apron was divided into several independent zones. 22 aircraft parking areas were thus created, allowing the clearance of the largest aircraft that are currently in operation. Even if the actual number of parking areas, as compared to the original status, did not increase, significant quality and spatial improvement was achieved to be served by buses.

Concurrently with the expansion of the apron, taxiway B was extended, and the widths of the taxiway intersections were changed so that the safe travel of aircraft with large wheel tracks and undercarriage bases was ensured.

During the construction, the apron was additionally extended by 5 parking areas within a separate construction. This extension ensured the normal operation of the airport for the time of the 4th construction when parts of the apron and taxiway were closed.

The new apron arrangement and operation in the north airport area also necessitated the transferal of general aviation clearance (private transport by small aircraft) to the south area, to the so-called old airport.