Bristol Airport, Bristol, UK

A new dimension in seating design

Bristol Airport opened its doors to a new £8.5m extension last year (2015), continuing a commitment to invest and expand one of the UK’s fastest growing airports.

Officially unveiled by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, the multi-million pound terminal extension will help the airport meet the needs of growing passenger numbers, with annual throughput having increased to a record 6.7 million in 2015.

The unveiling of the terminal extension follows a 12-month build programme which culminated in the development of a significantly enlarged departure lounge, featuring hundreds of additional luxury seats, the opening of several new retail and catering brands and a second executive lounge.

The 3,880sqm development includes four new pre-boarding areas featuring floor-to-ceiling glass walls, which serve to maximise the stunning views and increase the amount of natural light into the space.

The desire to marry good design with practicality was a key requirement and ambitions of the developers, with the choice of colours and textures in particular taking inspiration from the airport’s local area and its many ecological treasures.

The use of timber and reeds alongside interior planting were used to reflect the region’s natural beauty, whilst a striking lighting feature makes use of Bristol’s iconic blue glass to dramatic effect, with the glass chandelier sculpted in the shape of the River Avon flowing through the city.

When selecting the new seating, the same set of criteria applied, and so award winning, and internationally renowned manufacturer, Zoeftig was chosen as preferred supplier.

Zoeftig has designed seating solutions for many of the world’s leading airport terminals: Dubai, New York and Hong Kong to name but a few. Zoeftig’s internationally popular Zenky+ seating was chosen by designers - 1,700 currently installed with a further 500 on order - as a perfect complement to the new Central Pier development; an area that connects directly to the new departure lounge.

Zoeftig’s Zenky+ seats were originally designed specifically for the North American market, offering larger seat and back measurements than its standard Zenky design. Zenky+ offers the same unrivalled strength and durability as the standard Zenky seat, with seating configurations available in linear, curve, solo and duo cluster; with Intelligent USB power supply options also available.

With 646,000 passengers traveling through the airport’s gates in the months leading up to the opening, the new facility will serve to ease congestion in the departure lounge at peak travel times, as well as enhance the wider user experience, of which practical, comfortable customer seating is an essential part.

The airport’s expansion hasn’t stopped there either, as work is already underway on a second terminal extension, to the western end of the main building. The £24 million project will transform the security search process for passengers when it opens in summer 2016, as well as creating an enlarged baggage reclaim area, customs facilities, arrivals retail, and an improved meet and greet area.

Improvements in customer seating will continue to play a central role in the airport’s evolution, and its commitment to continue to enhance its national and international reputation.

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