Lelystad Airport

A sustainable terminal in the spirit of the Dutch civil engineer Lely
  • aviation
  • LEED
  • Design & Build
    Design & Build

With a view to creating additional capacity for leisure travel, Lelystad Airport is to be expanded in stages as a “twin airport” to Schiphol. In terms of size, transparency and accessibility, the new airport promises to be a genuine and significant complement to Schiphol’s large scale. Lelystad Airport aims to be Europe’s "preferred leisure airport”, and will shortly be facilitating holiday travel to and from popular tourist destinations in Europe and the Mediterranean in particular. To this end, Paul de Ruiter Architects have designed a sustainable and expansible airport terminal that will initially serve 1.7 million passengers a year. The design was informed by the experience of holiday travellers, the result of which renders the airport itself a relaxing and comfortable part of the traveller’s holiday experience. Cooperating with Deerns and Noorderlicht Architekten we developed the structure design.

Lelystad 2

Spectacular simplicity

The design for the new terminal pays homage to the Dutch civil engineer Cornelis Lely by taking as its starting point the spectacular simplicity of the region of reclaimed land in the province of Flevoland. The new terminal sits almost naturally in the wide-open and abstract landscape of the region, and makes a striking horizontal statement. The terminal consists of an elongated volume that splits the landside from the airside and incorporates the pier with its departure lounges. The elongated terminal opens into the Plaza, a voluminous, high-ceilinged canopy that welcomes passengers with open arms. This wooden-framed and glass-wrapped hall serves as the building’s central meeting point for the streams of departing and arriving passengers and those dropping them off and picking them up. This vertically generous space also includes a comfortable Lounge with shops and food courts for travellers to pass the time before proceeding to the gate. A rooftop terrace adjacent to the Lounge offers a panoramic view of the planes taking off and landing.

By anticipating and responding to the diverse needs of a wide range of passengers, the resulting design offers space and comfort to every kind of traveller.

Relaxing and comfortable

Lelystad Airport will be completely self-service, with advanced state-of-the-art systems befitting a mobile, digital world. Passengers will be free to check in and drop off their baggage completely autonomously, and this applies even to the identification of, and payment for, excess baggage. A “just-in-time” system will let passengers know when to proceed to the gate. This and other such systems will improve the convenience of using an airport, and enhance the passengers’ sense of freedom. By anticipating and responding to the diverse needs of a wide range of passengers, the resulting design offers space and comfort to every kind of traveller.

Lelystad 3

A sustainable terminal

Flying via Lelystad Airport promises to be a seamless experience, barrier-free from parking to boarding. This demands a terminal whose interior and exterior blend equally seamlessly, as well as a building that feels open and accessible and offers unobstructed views of the surroundings and of the planes. The design makes optimal use of natural energy and ventilation to ensure a pleasant indoor experience for passengers and airport staff alike. The terminal is energy-efficient, and equipped with a smart, compact air conditioning system that responds to changing conditions and the flow of people through and within the space. Building materials are employed sparingly, efficiently, sustainably, and in a way that makes for easy disassembly, resulting in an open and honest character. The actual materials used were chosen for their minimal environmental burden. The wooden structural framework in the main hall and gates plays an important role in this respect, both technically and in terms of the human experience of the space. The building is LEED Gold level certified, making it one of the most sustainable terminals in the world.

Lelystad 4

Future-proof and adaptable

Lelystad Airport is scheduled to develop in several phases. Thus the first phase will result in a terminal for 1,5 million passengers, while the second phase envisages a growth in traffic to 3,7 million passengers a year. In the third phase, the airport will expand to accommodate approximately 6,7 million passengers a year. In view of this anticipated expansion, the building’s design incorporates future-proof capacities. For instance, the terminal can be adapted in response to growth and changes in operational and commercial operations.

The dismantled parts can be reused as raw material, which makes for a circular and flexible building.

Flexibly expansible

The terminal has been designed in such a way that its individual sections can be independently expanded. By situating the difficult-to-relocate functions in a fixed centre line through the building, the terminal allows for expansion on both sides: on one side the public functions and on the other the supporting logistics and baggage handling. Furthermore, owing to the use of prefabricated components and disassembly hubs in construction, the dismantled parts can be reused as raw material, which makes for a circular and flexible building.

The development of the terminal is an important first step in creating a wholly new experience for people visiting and departing the Netherlands, and innovatively demonstrates a way to build terminals sustainably, and in a future-proof and flexibly expansible manner.

Project details


Location Lelystad
Gross floor area 12.000 m² - 1.200 m² retail and catering, 3.000 m² luggage halls, 800 m² staff spaces, 7.000 m² public area
Program Sustainable passenger terminal
Start of design July 2016
Start of construction September 2017
Project completion September 2018
Certificate LEED Gold

Project Team

Client Lelystad Airport
Design Paul de Ruiter Architects
Project architects Paul de Ruiter
Projectleader Julius Klatte
Project team Julius Klatte, Mark Homminga, Florina Raileanu and Noud Paes
Advisor construction Aveco de Bondt
Advisor building safety, fire safety en installations Deerns
Advisor building costs KamphuisSchaufeli bouw- en kostenmanagement
Supervisor design, realisation and maintenance TBI-ondernemingen J.P. van Eesteren en Croonwolter&dros