Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport has reopened its Terminal 1 after almost three years of closure, gearing up for the Paris Olympics in 2024.
The terminal closed on March 30, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with operator Aéroports de Paris (ADP) using the time to carry out a €250 million refurbishment.
The National Heritage Terminal 1 was built in 1974 with design by French architect Paul Andreu, featuring a concrete concentric design with a central body circled by tunnels to seven satellite buildings.
The renovations saw the creation of a 36,000 sqm junction building as well as new features within the central lobby to improve the passenger experience.
The central lobby now includes marble flooring, LED lighting, 130 self-service kiosks and 90 automatic bag drop-off points for 124 multi-company check-in counters, digital signage, a new layout of passenger queues, densification and simplification of the international border.
The new junction building, meanwhile, links satellites 1, 2 and 3 and connects to the central building at Terminal 1. This includes a new 5,600 sqm boarding hall facing the central body.
There is now a single entrance for the international zone instead of four tunnels, and all gates on the international route are equipped with self-boarding gates to facilitate boarding.
ADP describe this as the “achievement of the first stage of Paul Andreu’s ultimate vision”, with the final vision being to link the seven original satellites.
Paris CDG also features a new departure lounge, with Parisian-themed design conceived by French designers Maxime Liautard and Hugo Toro. The lounge features historic posts, lights reminiscent of fireworks, and brass accents in reference to the legs of the counters and tables of Parisian bistros.
Seating areas include a combination of straight and curved benches, elongated seats and work areas with modesty screens behind the benches, tables and seats.
The airport says that there will be a maximum travel time of six minutes from the end of security checks to the boarding gate.
Art is also being exhibited for the first time in the spaces integrated from the design of the infrastructure, with exhibitions lasting for a period of two to three years.
Archisable pays tribute to the work of Paul Andreu, through work on sand by sixty architects in the public area on Departures level.
The Paris Ballad by Jean-François Rauzier, located in the access tunnel to the junction building, features reproductions of Parisian monuments and elements of architecture.
Paris, Numbers 1 in satellite 3 of Arrivals level displays photographs produced by Thierry Bouët, who walked the streets of the twenty districts of the capital to photograph the numbers 1 of each of them.
Augustin de Romanet, chairman and CEO of Groupe ADP, commented on the reopening:
“This reopening symbolically marks the end of the Covid-19 pandemic for the Paris airports. We decided to give new life to this almost fifty-year-old infrastructure by modernising the existing building, fully in line with the work of Paul Andreu. Terminal 1, still a pioneer, embodies the renewal of the welcome and hospitality at Paris airports, and in particular the best in design and culture that we wish to offer to our passengers.”
Bloomberg reports that ADP will also consider adding solar panels to the airport, a feature that was not allowed by law up until now.
Note that more than 50 airlines, including Lufthansa, Swiss, Air India and Cathay Pacific, will switch back to Terminal 1 in the coming months, details for which can be found here.
Travellers may be disrupted by strikes, however, this winter as Air France threatens action from December 22 until January 2, 2023 – see our feature:
Groupe ADP released a French video celebrating the history of the terminal.