I am interested to know what is the general concensus on the ongoing mushrooming of the Terminal building at the Airport? I recently used Pier A for the first time since it was remodelled to encorporate the Old Collinstown Terminal and well, it was nice and while it was a pleasantly quiet corner of the building, wasn't exactly awe inspiring.
You just don't get to see enough of the old building bar the airside ground floor departure lounge which I assume differs from the original layout. I do feel its better than nothing though.
My own non-expert opinion of the whole complex is that it is a victim of its own rapid success over the last decade or so. Up to then Aer Rianta had a handle on its expansion - because at that time it was virtually non-existant save for the building of Runway 10/28.
Since the mid-90s, increasing demand for space has outstripped supply and has resulted in much hastily desgined 'add-ons' to the 1970 Terminal. The results have been very mixed.
The relocation of the Duty Free shopping area is an attractive improvement and pier C - while not original in design - is quite an attractive space. However I still cannot understand why an airport of its passenger throughput (c. 14 million in 2000) has so few airbridges, opting instead for increased tarmac space around the apron to park aircraft. Surely, bussing passengers in from remotely parked planes it a retrograde step in 2001? Perhaps it signals a possible further shift in focus that will cater for more low budget airlines instead of enticing big inter-continental carriers to open-up the limited long haul route network from the airport.
I do hope that the reclad the entire of the 1970 Terminal now so as to make it look in some way uniform, architecturally. There are so many bits stapled on to it that both land and airside views of it are a veritable mess.
Its dull exterior will never really recover even if it is reclad, as both Pier C and other new 'bits' are like carbon copies of most of London Gatwick South.
The old terminal could do with a serious paint job as well!
Probably the worst development at the airport recently is the phased multi-storey car parks. They are like something out of Las Palmas International, are badly maintained and cramped. At least the rust stained white-painted concreted blends into most Irish daytime skies! They certainly do not 'converse' arcitecturally or otherwise with anything else in the Airport, in design or appearance.
In conclusion (at last) I believe even Aer Rianta must now realise that the existing Terminal is nearly at it expandable limit (though you never know with them) and the need for (an)other terminal(s) is surely soon to be obvious. Many think it overdue.
(un-)Architectural collage that it is for the last 3 decades, its not beyond redemption. It should have had a rail link years ago and if only the same team of architects that designed the original terminal were around when the 1970 expansion was planned.........
........but its still a familiar sight of 'home' when you return......possibly a good metaphor for building in 21st C Ireland......warts 'n all!