The plan for renovating a selection of airports throughout the country is an initiative by Aeropuertos Uruguay aimed at bolstering air connectivity and strengthening the economic, logistic and tourist development among Uruguay’s administrative divisions.
To accompany the institution’s rebranding and renovation process, Gómez Platero Arquitectura & Urbanismo was tasked with envisioning six projects for the departments of Colonia, Paysandú, Durazno, Salto, Rivera, and Cerro Largo. Each one with its own specificities, the overall proposal seeks to give the buildings a common image capable of making the operation recognizable as a whole. The architectural resolution, the incorporation of color and the inclusion of distinctive graphic elements come together at each location to achieve a dynamic, disruptive, and contemporary image.
Together with the air terminals in Paysandú and Durazno, and with an area of 600m², the Carmelo airport (currently at the Construction Documents stage), can be counted among the smaller buildings. With no preexisting elements of importance, it was necessary to define the layout for the airport, the runway, and adjoining buildings within a natural, rugged environment.
Inside the building, the space is structured by a circuit in which the flow of departing passengers is independent from that of arriving passengers. On one end, both paths converge on the main hall; on the other, they meet at the duty free area, which alternatively welcomes passengers or entertains them before they board the plane. While the flow of passengers occurs at facade level, the core at the mid-section contains control-related activities, as offices and complementary services occupy the spaces along the sides.
The building’s image, in line with that of the other airports in the scheme, is austere, responding to the simplicity of the construction system. Similarly, the facade’s oblique lines, large overhang, and slanted surfaces offer a dynamic profile inspired by the speed and movement of the program. The resolution of structural intersections, facade panels, drainage and other details during the CD phase allow materializing the conceptual proposals of earlier stages in the design.
Operating as an icon within its context, the building puts forward a scalable, repeatable model that can be used in the various settings comprised by the overall intervention. The use of graphic elements and color, along with a careful definition of architectural elements, come together with the client’s requirements, the distinctive features of each site, and the specific nature of the program, so that each new building is perceived as a new landmark within the system at large.