Designs for the $5.3 billion Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport have been released, giving Australians a glimpse of the country’s biggest aviation project in decades.

Following a competitive process with more than 40 entrants, the architectural team of Zaha Hadid Architects and Cox Architecture was announced as the winner and appointed as the architects for the airport terminal precinct. The jury included renowned Australian architects Yvonne von Hartel, Peter Poulet and Kim Crestani.

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The winning design by Zaha Hadid and Cox Architecture was appreciated for focusing on “the customer journey while paying tribute to the Western Sydney region and natural landscape”. Design highlights include a giant plaza in the heart of the terminal with shopping, dining and entertainment facilities, landscaped gardens and timber ceilings. The terminal is designed to cater to 10 million passengers annually; the modular design will allow future expansion to accommodate up to 80 million travellers every year by 2060.

Major earthworks are expected to begin early next year at the Badgerys Creek site, about 50 kilometres west of Sydney's CBD.

The Western Sydney International Airport is scheduled to open in 2026.


Image credit: Western Sydney Airport