The flying carpet
BOZ2 Centrum Ceramiki
Now that passenger planes have all became monotonously similar, flying has lost its appeal.
The last aircraft capable not only of carrying humans into the skies but also of giving wings to their imaginations was perhaps Concorde. As a result, the most tedious part of a plane journey is now the flight itself, not least because the onboard services have been reduced to a bare minimum and sometimes extend no further than a glass of mineral water.
It is therefore hardly surprising that Icarus’ dream should have been reduced to an impatient wait for departure and arrival and that the true liturgy of flight is celebrated more in the airports than on the planes themselves. In this age of mass travel, the enormous potential of this phenomenon was understood right from the start. In the space of a few decades, airport terminals have evolved from simple, functional points of departure to cathedrals for celebrating the liturgy of flight, locations designed to provide memories that go well beyond the lost emotion of soaring in the sky.
Many of these buildings stand out for their memorable architecture, created by great contemporary architects and built to serve as authentic icons of travel. One example of a terminal that has sought to make a powerful impression is that of Jasionka Airport in Rzeszów (Poland), designed by
Krakow-based practice APA Architektura led by Jacek Czech, Janusz Duliński and Piotr Wróbel.
For over seven hundred years, Rzeszów has been an important cultural and trading crossroads between the Byzantine east and the European and Mediterranean west.
It retains this role today and is home to important administrative institutions, a thriving industry, a university and numerous commercial infrastructures built around the old town centre and the characteristic Rynek Square where the government buildings are located.
The airport lies to the northeast of the city, close to the two large roads that link the north and south of the region. It was built to replace the old terminal and to provide an effective response to the increase in freight and passenger traffic that passes through Rzeszów. Extending over a covered surface area of 14,600 square metres, it is based on a modular growth model designed with future expansion in mind.
The architectural project is organised around the large elliptical paraboloid roof which encloses the passenger concourse and appears to hover lightly above the ground. On the side facing the runways, it is juxtaposed with several glass volumes that stand out for their meticulous formal simplicity.
The roof structure is made entirely of steel, protected externally by an aluminium sheet envelope and clad internally with an elegant gridshell of acoustic panels, skilfully exploiting the vanishing lines to further enhance the visual impact of the unusual volume.
Glass and aluminium dominate the vertical surfaces of a space flooded with light and delicately coordinating colours, where a small number of well-designed elements are used to resolve a situation of overall complexity. A key role in terms of composition is played by the floor coverings, which consist of Granitogres honed finish porcelain tiles, Granito 4 series, colour Fiji produced by Casalgrande Padana. The elegant ceramic tile surface, extending over a floor space of more than 8,700 square metres, acts as a reflecting plane capable of dialoguing with and accentuating the technological structure of the building.
Casalgrande Padana, Granitogres
30x30, 60x60 cm
Fijii, Granito 4
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0.10%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50÷60 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): ≥ 0,6 in matt surface
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant