Here Are The Ambitious Plans To Turn London's Heathrow Airport Into A City

London’s Heathrow Airport could soon become a destination itself.

The city’s transportation department recently commissioned three architecture firms to dream up plans for a city to replace the airport, if plans to build a new, larger airport along the Thames Estuary ever come to fruition.

“Heathrow City” would potentially support 90,000 new jobs, house 190,000 people, and add close to $US13 billion to the UK economy, according to the Mayor’s office.

The designs released last week include an airship port, a technology campus, and a medieval-style city center. All would help accommodate the city’s forecasted population growth.

“The demand for new homes and jobs in the capital is such that we must be ready to start redeveloping Heathrow the moment it moves to its new site,” Mayor Boris Johnson said. “We asked our architects to be as creative as possible and these designs illustrate strikingly different visions of a Heathrow of the future.”

The UK’s Airports Commission will decide in September whether or not to move forward with the plans to build a new airport in the Inner Thames Estuary.

Check out the three design ideas below:

1. Architecture firm Hawkins/Brown’s proposal includes the UK’s first airship port and a factory for customisable homes to accommodate London’s growing population.

Heathrow City

Romance of the Sky by Hawkins/Brown.

The plan also calls for a “green belt” — a massive park built on the airport’s former runways.

Heathrow CityHawkins/BrownRomance of the Sky by Hawkins/Brown.

2. Architects at Mccreanor Lavington envision remediating the airport’s contaminated grounds and planting trees. They would also build a technology campus, civic center, and retail hub at Heathrow’s Terminal 2.

Heathrow CityMaccreanor LavingtonLivable City by Maccreanor Lavington.

3. Rick Mather Architects suggests using the former runways to divide the city into different sections based on specialisations like education and leisure.

Heathrow CityRick MatherThe Transforming City by Rick Mather.

The proposal calls for a “medieval” city center made of existing buildings and new construction.

Heathrow CityRick MatherThe Transforming City by Rick Mather.

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