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Florence’s New Airport Terminal Will Have a 19-Acre Rooftop Vineyard

The airport in Florence, Italy — the gateway to Tuscany’s gorgeous wine country — is getting some grape-related upgrades. Renowned architecture group Rafael Viñoly Architects is constructing a new terminal that will include six hubs for arrivals and departures, a large public “piazza,” a new light rail system that will link the airport to the city center, and of course, a rooftop vineyard.

The design plans reveal that the 19-acre vineyard, which will house 38 rows of vines, will slope upward to complement the sky-lit terminal. In addition to serving as an homage to the region’s dedication to viticulture, the vineyard will be a valuable feature in the building’s overall sustainability initiatives. The soil and greenery on the roof will act as a thermal insulator that will help reach the goal of LEED Platinum sustainability rating. And because looks do matter when it comes to travel, the vineyard will also help the airport better blend in with the rolling hills that surround it: the vines will completely cover the airport terminal when viewed from Brunelleschi’s Duomo and other notable landmarks.

The vineyard will be managed and harvested by one of the region’s leading vintners, and the wine will be produced and aged on site in specialized cellars, according to the architecture group. It remains to be known exactly what grapes will be planted on the roof and which local winemaker will head up the project. Based on the region’s most renowned wines, we’ll venture a guess that there will be at least some Sangiovese. We won’t comment on the potential impact of airport “terroir” on the wines, though.

The late Rafael Viñoly, founder of the architecture firm, led notable design projects across the globe including the Tokyo International Forum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Carrasco Airport. He began conceptualizing Florence Airport’s international terminal in 2014, and put a decade of work into the project before his passing in March 2023. His son Román has since taken over the project.

As we’ve seen with the increased focus on high-end dining and extravagant airport bars, this is yet another push for airports to become destinations in and of themselves. Other recent design-focused airport innovations include the butterfly garden and rooftop pool at Singapore’s Changi Airport and the stunning garden at India’s Kempegowda International Airport.

The new international terminal will encompass 538,195 square feet and will serve nearly 6 million passengers. The renovations are set to occur in two phases, the first to be completed by 2026 and the final steps are expected to be finished by 2035.

The article Florence’s New Airport Terminal Will Have a 19-Acre Rooftop Vineyard appeared first on VinePair.

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