London’s Heathrow Airport is putting finishing touches on T2 – The Queen’s Terminal – which is set for a soft opening on June 4th with the arrival of the first United Airlines flight.
Her Majesty the Queen will be on hand to cut the ribbon and officially open the terminal on June 23rd and by November all 23 of the Star Alliance airlines, as well as Aer Lingus,Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings carriers, will be operating out of this building.
As you might imagine, Star Alliance officials are tickled about the project and on Wednesday they led a group of journalists through the terminal. And, as a treat, building architect Luis Vidal, who suggests the building be considered a “destination” rather than a “terminal,” was on hand to share some of his thinking behind the design focused on an improved passenger experience and point out some of his favorite features.
“The building and the roof guide you towards the plane and encompass three defined spaces, the last of which is the idea of the plaza,” said Vidal. There, “the roof seems to vanish as you look up and see what the weather is outside and you are free to rest, read, shop, dine, work – whatever you want to do.”
The last time I passed through the building, just about a month ago, the spaces for the shops, restaurants and amenities were empty. But now inventory is being put on store shelves, severs are being put through their paces in the restaurants and amenities, such as banks of terminals offering free internet, are being installed.