Sondika Airport
With his design, that is both visually striking and structurally daring, Calatrava puts the joy back into contemporary travel. The steel and concrete structure , nicknamed La Paloma (the Dove) because of its resemblance to a giant bird about to take flight, is integrated into the hilly green landscape in the Txoriherri Valley in close proximity to Bilbao. The aluminium skin of the Central Terminal sweeps across the 140 meter long terminal entry, providing cover for multiple levels of arrival and departure.

The passengers reach the aircrafts by way of the Departure Hall, a soaring structure awash with daylight, and the four-storey Departure Gallery beyond that connects to the concourse,an aluminium wing reminiscent of an aircraft skin, that contain twelve passenger terminal gates. The Departure Hall, with its ribbed concrete wings, is clear of visual clutter. Struts and wires cast changing patterns of striated shadows on the walls and granite floor.

The layout was designed to limit the impact of auxiliary buildings on the vista of the main building. An elegant four-storey parking structure, with a skylit walkway leading to the Terminal Building, is tucked into a grassy embankment.


63 photos and 6 drawings

Building Activity

  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova updated
    about 6 years ago via
  • Denis Drachev
    Denis Drachev commented
    One of the best airports in this world)
    about 7 years ago via iPhone