Carrasco International Airport
The new terminal at Carrasco International Airport,
which serves Uruguay's capital city of Montevideo, was created to
expand capacity and spur commercial growth and tourism in the
The design places prominence on the public zones, including the secure runway-side concourse as well as the fully accessible roadside departure hall and terrace, by providing amenities such as open space, natural light, restaurants, retail, and landscaping, all housed beneath a gently curved roof 1,200 feet in length.
[The building has]…dramatic and welcoming spaces for those who aren't traveling as well as those who are.
The gentle curve and low profile of this monolithic roof help
integrate the building into its site. The exterior's flowing lines
and undulating geometry resemble the natural landscape of Uruguay,
making it not only an iconic architectural structure, but a
symbolic one as well.
Inside the building arrivals and departures are separated by
floor, with arrivals on the ground level, departures on the first
floor, and vehicular access roads that service each level
independently. A public, landscaped terrace occupies the second
floor above the departure level, providing views of the runway and
the main public concourse.
Arriving travelers pass through a fully glazed mezzanine level that helps orient them to the terminal space before they descend to immigration, the baggage claim, and customs.
In keeping with a long tradition of grand transportation halls, the departures level is one large space. With glazing on all four sides and thin structural supports, the roof appears to float above the building.
The departures level features the public concourse and the
secure passenger concourse; each is separated by the security
checkpoint and immigration control at the center of the plan.
Four fixed, elevated pedestrian bridges with articulating
corridors, accommodating a total of eight passenger gates, connect
the passenger concourse to narrow- and wide-body aircraft and
provide access to the apron for smaller planes.
While the architectural solution for the Carrasco International
Airport is modern in its conception of space, function, and
structure, the roof is regionally inspired and draws its strength
from its relationship to the surrounding topography.
The building, the firm's largest project in Viñoly's home
country, embodies Uruguay's transformation from an important
regional country to an international destination for commerce and
"In Uruguay, friends and family still come to greet you at the airport, or see you off, so this terminal provides great spaces for the people who aren't traveling as well as those who are. The atrium, the main hall, the terrace, and the passenger concourse, make this a dramatic and welcoming place for everyone."
Facts about Carrasco International Airport
344,000 gross ft2
Rafael Viñoly Architects PC
Thornton Tomasetti Group
Ing. Luis Lagomarsino & Associates
Ing. Ricardo Hofstadter
Estudio Jack Yaffe Berro
Hughes Associates, Inc.
Puerta del Sur S.A.
Last updated: December 19, 2013
North Adams, Massachusetts, USA
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Seattle, Washington, USA