Madrid International Airport

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas International Airport is the second largest airport in Europe and the largest bamboo reference project in the world to date. The curved bamboo ceiling in Terminal 4, which was added during the renovation that was completed in 2005, has become the landmark of the airport with millions of yearly passengers.

Project details

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners – Estudio Lamela Arquitectos
Lindner Group
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2,152,782 ft²

Bamboo mindset

From the very beginning, it was clear that the new terminal would have to be future-proof and sustainable, while also effectively supporting the flow of passengers through the airport. The famous architect and Pritzer-award winner Richard Rogers was in charge of the design of Terminal 4 and had decided early on to use bamboo for the cladding of the ceiling. The ceiling had to meet the highest European fire safety standard M1. In addition, the ceiling was supposed to have a curved wave design, which would place great technical demands on the material to be used.

Read more about the MOSO® Bamboo benefits

New bamboo product to meet high requirements

In the end, only MOSO® was able to meet all the requirements with a new product that was developed: bamboo veneer combined with glass fiber. Only thin bamboo veneer strips could be impregnated to ensure fire safety and still offer the required flexibility for the curved forms. For use in the new Madrid airport terminal, MOSO® had to make major changes to parts of the processing of the bamboo strips and develop a multi-layered structure of cross-glued veneer to meet the stability needs. These changes took about two years of development work in close partnership with the bamboo supplier, architect Richard Rogers and Estudio Lamela, and installation specialist Lindner.

Read more about MOSO® Bamboo Certifications here
Bamboo ceiling in Madrid International Airport

“The ceiling consists of 100 mm wide planks of multi-layer MOSO® Bamboo veneer. The visual qualities of this material imbue T4 with its very special character. Bamboo has the added benefit of being very sustainable.”

Simon Smithson partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners lead architect of Barajas T4 International Airport Madrid

Sustainable measures

The renovation of Terminal 4 was also successful from a sustainability point of view. A significant reduction in energy requirements was one of the main objectives. However, a number of other environmentally friendly measures were implemented, such as the installation of a rainwater collection system. Bamboo, as a natural and sustainable building material, also played a role in the overall sustainable concept. Bamboo is an inexhaustible resource, with a growth of up to one meter per day.

More about sustainability here

Bamboo ceiling landmark of the airport

Bamboo is the dominant optical element of the terminal. The impressive ceiling construction that is 25 soccer fields large, is reminiscent of a leaf canopy of a forest and is supported by variously colored steel “tree trunks”. Bamboo, with its naturally beautiful charisma, is traditionally synonymous with peace, tranquility and inner balance and is intended to create a positive travel experience in a relaxed atmosphere. No wonder the airport has won several construction and design awards over the years.

Read more about ceiling boards here

"In architectural terms they designed a wonderful building that makes an impact on everybody and created a truly functional and efficient airport that facilitates the flow of passengers through the building."

Jose Manuel Hesse Martin, Plan Barajas Director
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Would you like more information about the possibilities of bamboo? Please feel free to contact our MOSO® Bamboo experts or order samples of the materials suitable for you.

Sara Monge
Area Sales Manager MOSO Europe S.L.U., Spain & Latam

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Sara Monge MOSO Bamboo expert
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