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Western Sydney International Airport

  • Sydney, Australia
  • 2019 – 2026
  • Western Sydney International Airport
  • Design

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA; London, UK) and Cox Architecture (COX; Sydney, NSW) have won the international design competition for the new Western Sydney Airport (WSA) and been appointed as Master Architect for the project. The ZHA/COX team was selected from a broad field of forty national and international applicants that was narrowed to five selected design competitors.


The Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, named after the famous Australian aviatrix, is a new greenfield airport in Sydney’s new western Parkland City region. Together with the original Harbour City on the coast and the River City around Paramatta, the Parkland City will become Sydney’s third urban hub, stimulating the city’s western expansion in the decades to come. The Western Sydney International Airport will be a fundamental catalyst for this growth, with the city’s greater metropolitan area set to reach 9 million by 2040.

The new Western Sydney International Airport will be built in four stages of expansion, beginning with the initial stage of 10 million annual passengers (MAP) by 2026, with further increments up to 82 MAP, making it the largest international gateway to Australia by 2060. As Master Architect, ZHA/COX will provide an overarching design for the entire airport precinct including design guidelines for future expansion. At the same time, the team will prepare the design documents for the execution of the first phase of the new Terminal Precinct.

ZHA Project Director Cristiano Ceccato said: “We are honoured to have been selected for this amazing project. The design is an evolution of Australian architecture past, present and future. It draws inspiration from both traditional architectural features such as the veranda, as well as the natural beauty of the surrounding bushland.”

COX Project Director David Holm noted: “The design takes inspiration from the unique local flora of Western Sydney and its unique natural qualities, such as the Great Australian Light. These spaces, colours and materials have been incorporated into the design to give the project an unmistakable regional identity.”

The ZHA/COX design incorporates sustainable design principles across the building’s architecture as well as its construction principles. The project integrates the extensive use of daylight, natural ventilation and water recycling to create a modular, energy-efficient design. The building is also sensitive to its local context, reflecting its natural landscape and the cultural heritage of its indigenous inhabitants.

In the field of transport infrastructure, Zaha Hadid Architects are best known as the original design architect (with ADPI) for the new Beijing Daxing International Airport and as the Lead Consultant for the new Navi Mumbai International Airport, as well as Afragola High-Speed Rail station in Naples, and the King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station in Riyadh. Cox Architecture are designing the new Victoria Cross Station in Sydney, the Sydney International Airport Marketplace, the Sydney Football Stadium and the Chinese National Maritime Museum.



Zaha Hadid Architects and COX Architecture

Project Director (Commerical)

Gianluca Racana

Project Director (Design)

Cristiano Ceccato

Project Architect

Clara Martins

Project Manager

Paolo Zilli

Planning Lead

Leo Alves

Technical Lead

Armando Solano, Enrico Anelli-Monti

Project Team

Nessma Al Ghoussein, Zsuzsanna Barat, Cristina Barrios Cabrera