Woods Bagot expands global aviation team - Internationally renowned architect joins Woods Bagot following third airport win within a year

Aviation expert Richard Spencer joins Woods Bagot as Design Director – Aviation, following the recent win of the second stage of the International Terminal expansion at Perth Airport.

An industry visionary, Richard has witnessed aviation trends and shaped airports for tomorrow over the last two decades, and is set to share and inject global thinking into the design work at Perth Airport and across the Australian region, as major cities prepare to undertake significant upgrades.

“Airports are an essential piece of infrastructure that today, not only act as gateway to major cities, but also form part of the commercial precinct and urban fabric of our metropolis,” said Richard Spencer, Design Director – Aviation, Woods Bagot.

Richard has been instrumental in the design and delivery of aviation projects across the globe, such as the Passenger Transport Interchange at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, Delhi International Airport Terminal 3, Cork Airport, Ireland, and the master plan for a new airport for Lisbon, Portugal.

The design of airport infrastructure has drastically changed and diversified to keep ahead of the demands of globalisation, and the future success of the aviation industry lies in understanding and delivering on the ‘airport-city’ concept,” said Richard.

One of Australia’s closest airports to South-East Asia and the regional gateway to Western Australia, Perth Airport total passenger numbers are expected to increase by 7.6% per annum[1] - well above the global average of 2 to 3% per annum.

“In a time where passenger numbers are drastically increasing, as designers, we need to push the boundaries of what an airport is seen to be, and envisage what it can do for the wider city, as we look to accommodate greater growth.

The International Terminal expansion project is an exciting moment for Perth Airport as the consolidation of domestic and international traffic into a single terminal radically improves passenger convenience and operational efficiency. The work we do in this phase sets the stage for full consolidation in 2020, when the exceptional airfield opportunity that exists at Perth will begin to be fully exploited to meet the needs of the growing city and the region,” continued Richard.

The move from viewing an airport as a terminal to a destination is not only creating a new wave of commercial opportunities but also, in the wider context, creates an opportunity to apply innovative design solutions that ensure astute land use management and transportation methods are used to reduce major issues at play –noise and carbon footprint.

Project Director for the Passenger Transport Interchange at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, Richard is of the opinion that an integrated transport solution not only forms part of the ‘airport-city’ concept through creating a seamless link to destinations, yet recognises the significant contribution architects can make to sustainable design solutions.

“Creating a world leading public transport connection for Terminal 5 was essential to gaining permission for the airport expansion as otherwise the road infrastructure would have become saturated and air quality seriously degraded. By placing access to public transport front and centre, and making it more convenient than access to the private car, the terminal design encourages the strongest modal shift to the most sustainable transport options,” explained Richard.

With a growing portfolio of aviation projects, Woods Bagot continues to strengthen and diversify its skills matrix globally, and today, the aviation division boasts a team of highly experienced architects and designers who have worked on internationally acclaimed projects.

A key member of the global aviation team, award winning architect Mark Mitcheson-Low transitioned to Australia earlier this month, assuming the role of Chairman – Regional Executive Australia, with a vision to inject the design intelligence, management and technical aspects learnt from projects such as Baku International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport across the Australian region.

Perth is now home to a strong team of Woods Bagot’s design leaders that have recently joined or returned to the studio from global postings, and the growth is set to continue.

“Highly complex and capital intensive, airports demand a deep understanding of stakeholder requirements. As the concept of the airport-city seeps into the urban landscape of Australia, master planning of airport property must not only satisfy the aeronautical needs but also address the commercial criteria for airport owners and managers,” said Mark Mitcheson-Low, Chairman of the Regional Executive, Australia, Woods Bagot.

“Due to our global network we are able to draw on a wide range of knowledge and industry wide research, to inform these multiple interfaces required to deliver airports for tomorrow,” said Mark.

Further to Richard Spencer’s appointment, Woods Bagot is set to announce additional key hires in the near future.

About Richard Spencer, Design Director – Aviation, Woods Bagot

Richard Spencer is the Design Director specialising in aviation projects for Woods Bagot. He is a British Chartered Architect with more than thirty years of experience in architectural practices around the world. Richard has been a practice principal for 21 years, 15 of which were as a Director of the London office of HOK and of its global aviation practice.

About Woods Bagot

One of the world's leading architectural practices, Woods Bagot has a global team of more than 800 working across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. The firm's unique "One Global Studio" philosophy drives unprecedented knowledge sharing and true collaboration across time zones, producing innovative, inspired and functional design solutions for our clients. Underpinning Woods Bagot's knowledge culture is PUBLIC, our propriety research brand, created in collaboration with leading thinkers and academics.

The firm's diverse portfolio of high-profile projects includes: The Ivy (Sydney), Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australian Health and Medical Research (Adelaide), Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hilton South Wharf (Melbourne), Perth International Airport, Wesfarmers Executive Levels, (Perth), Qatar Science and Technology Park, and 10 Trinity Square (London).

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