- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Feb 2021
Heathrow Terminal 5 named one of world's top airports in 2019
|Terminal 5 interior. Photo courtesy of RSHP.|
Designed by RSHP, the terminal became operational in March 2008, after being officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The original competition scheme evolved during the 1990s, shaped by changing requirements, including a dramatic reduction in site area and different security needs.
The built scheme for the main terminal offers an unencumbered, long-span ‘envelope’ – developed with Arup – with a flexibility of internal space conceptually similar to that of the practice’s much earlier design for the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Departure and arrivals areas, check-in desks, commercial space, retail, offices, passenger lounges, back-up and other facilities are all contained within freestanding steel-framed structures inside the building and can be dismantled and reconfigured as future needs change.
The multi-level scheme is contained beneath an elegant, curved floating roof, supported by slim columns at the perimeter edges to provide the required highly flexible and visually dramatic internal space. In this scheme, passengers depart and arrive in a terminal building which offers generous spaces and fine views across the airport.
T5 was first recognised as one of the world’s top 100 airports by Skytrax in 2013 and has made the list every year since then. The World Airport Awards began in 1999, when Skytrax launched its first global, airport customer satisfaction survey. These surveys are regarded as a quality benchmark for the world airport industry, assessing customer service and facilities across over 550 airports. The focus is to deliver a customer survey and airport awards process that is independent, impartial and global, and this ethos remains essential to all aspects in the present day.
“We are delighted that Terminal 5 continues to be recognised by passengers as one of the world’s best airport terminals, especially in the 10th year anniversary of its opening.” - Andrew Tyley, Partner, RSHP.
 About Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is an international architectural practice based in London. Over the past four decades, RSHP has attracted critical acclaim and awards with built projects across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.
The practice is experienced in designing a wide range of building types including office, residential, transport, education, culture, leisure, retail, civic and healthcare. The quality of its designs has been recognised with some of architecture’s highest awards, including two RIBA Stirling Prizes, one in 2006 for Terminal 4, Madrid Barajas Airport and the other in 2009 for Maggie’s West London Centre.
The firm was founded as the Richard Rogers Partnership in 1977 but over time evolved and in 2007 the decision was made to rename the firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to reflect the vital contributions of Graham Stirk, designer of the award-winning Leadenhall Building, and Ivan Harbour, designer of the Stirling prize-winning West London Maggie’s Centre. The practice now has 13 partners, with several long-standing members of the practice being named partners in 2015. Together, they represent the inherent continuity and consistency of the philosophy which the practice applies to all its work.
 About this article
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- More articles about RSHP and their projects.
- CIBSE Case Study: Christchurch International Airport.
- Gatwick second runway.
- Heathrow Airport expansion.
- Heathrow Terminal 5.
- London City Airport expansion.
- Madrid Barajas Airport.
- Procurement of Heathrow T5.
- Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 3.
- Thames estuary hub airport.
Featured articles and news
Prioritising tax considerations.
The four D creative process: discover, define, develop and deliver.
National Cyber Security Centre initiative is announced.
Reviewing trends and projections.
Legislation will establish initiatives to move towards net zero.
How to document contractor employment status.
Tech tools to help manage people and space post-pandemic.
A style that ranges from mock Tudor to arts and crafts to the 'Wrenaissance'.
Free guide from Secured by Design.
BREEAM strategy for sustainability and the circular economy.
Free tool to improve the construction programming process.
Are buildings doing what they're supposed to be doing?
Cities with quick access to everything by foot or bike.
The pressures and pinch points of global destinations.