An eco-friendly airport
Jerzy Domanski, BudoProjekt
The airport of Katowice, a large city not far from Krakow in Poland’s industrial Upper Silesia region, has had a long and chequered history.
In 1940, the German Luftwaffe began construction of an airfield in the meadows near Pyrzowice.
The airfield was used for the transhipment of military materials from aeroplanes flying from the internal part of the Reich to aeroplanes carrying supplies to troops on the Eastern Front.
In the early 1950s, the Soviets handed the airport over to the Polish army and it was used for military purposes until 1966, when the first Polish Airlines aeroplane took off for Warsaw. In 1990 flights were halted due to insufficient passenger traffic and it was only in 1992, thanks to the efforts of the management of the Upper Silesian Aviation Group (GTL), that PLL LOT re-established the connection with Warsaw. On 27 March 1993 the German airline Lufthansa made the first international flight to Frankfurt. Air traffic gradually began to increase and work began on developing the airport’s civil infrastructure, as the airport was still shared with the military at the time.
Construction of the first passenger terminal was completed in August 2004. The airport’s surface area was increased to almost 8,000 square metres, which helped increase its throughput to almost 2 million passengers. The new Terminal A was opened in July 2012 following extensive renovation work on the envelope, including an impressive glass façade, the roofs and interior surfaces.
The material chosen for the floor coverings in the new terminal was Basaltina collection porcelain tile from Coem, in a 60×60 cm size and a Grey colour. This finish is inspired by the grey-coloured lava stone of the same name which has been popular since ancient times.
With its compact, uniform texture, this collection fully met the performance requirements of a highly compression- and wear-resistant surface dictated by the large number of passengers anticipated in the new terminal building.
The choice of colour and size helped lend uniformity and aesthetic appeal to the large spaces of the terminal, divided up by a number of building elements according to the various functional areas: the partitions, also clad with porcelain tiles but in a darker colour, and the backlit, micro-perforated steel columns.
Katowice airport is expanding steadily. In the very near future, further extension of the aprons is planned as well as the construction of a third passenger terminal and a new runway strip.
Coem, Basaltina series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0.06%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 43 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): Naturale-Strutturato: R9 / Scalpellato: R11