Our concept, which won first prize at the Design Competition for Debrecen International Airport, was inspired by the positive experience of flying, enthusiasm for airplanes and engineering and the combination of childlike passion combined with architectural precision.

Debrecen International Airport is the most important international airport in East Hungary. In fact, it is the second busiest in the country after Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest. The traffic of the airport is constantly increasing due the economic growth in the area. The airport has a key role in the tourism of the region too so it was absolutely necessary for its further development. The aim of the municipality was to establish a specially designed world class airport with circa 3 million passengers per year, that can be maintained efficiently and safely. The Design Competition was about planning a new terminal building, airplane aprons, a storage building and a snow fleet basis.

The spatial appearance of the building resembles the functional dynamism of the people flooding through it and the image of a folded paper airplane that represents the elemental lightness of flying.

The new terminal building was positioned independently from the current building, following the requirements. Economically the best option was to create a two-storey building with a ground floor and a loft floor. The functions were organized into irregular, obtuse triangle shaped layouts.  The entrance zone and the lobby of the building is placed at the obtuse angle of the triangle. The gates and the departure lounge along the airside are positioned on the longest side of the triangle. These are attached with a two storey glass wall to the aprons. Communal areas such as luggage check, passenger security and passport check, waiting lounge, shops, arrivals hall, luggage reclaim are downstairs. On the loft floor there are the offices, the business lounge, meeting rooms, changing rooms and other maintenance areas.

The building has a light glass-steel structure braced by two interior reinforced concrete cores and cross bracings on the facade providing a full scale view of the interior. With the layered structure of floors and the roof and the airing of these with the excess heat of vent technology and shading the glass surfaces the energy consumption of the building can be significantly decreased.

Project info

  • Project Name Design Competition for Debrecen International Airport
  • Location Debrecen, Hungary
  • Gross Area 10.800 m2
  • Year of Design 2021
  • Organizer Municipality of Debrecen
  • General Design BORD Architectural Studio
  • Head Architect Péter Bordás
  • Architect Team Tamás Mezey, Dorottya Hindy, Edina Hazler, Noémi Gyárfás, Fruzsina Damásdi, Edit Balogh, Zsolt Belányi
  • Visual Design The Greypixel Workshop
  • Mock-up Péter Bordás