– Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
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. And the sooner we start planning the better. We asked our architects to be as creative as possible and these designs illustrate strikingly different visions of a Heathrow of the future. However the key point is that all these scenarios would potentially create some of the many thousands of new jobs and homes this city will require given London is expected to increase in size by a fifth within the next 15 years. How we deal with that is something we need to be planning for and debating right now. Those discussions must not be delayed.
Designs, from three firms of architects, include proposals for new park land, scientific research centres and a factory for modular housing units to make it easier for people to build their own homes.
- Hawkins\Brown - This is the one that includes the factory-for-homes plan. Online customisation would allow Londoners to order homes to their own specifications as is common in a number of European countries, where 'self-build' is a popular way of creating new homes
- Rick Mather Architects - Their proposal would see the Heathrow site evolve to become a new hub city by working with the existing structure and using the terminals as generators to development. The former runways would define the structure of the city and connect 10 distinct local centres.
- Maccreanor Lavington - Their vision for Heathrow City aims to develop a fully functioning city within the metropolis, characterised by a rich mix of ecology, culture, employment and liveability. Existing buildings would be used to establish fresh development and new forestation is laid down.
Architects have come up with designs for 'Heathrow City', a 190,000-home town that would spring up if the west London airport closes. Supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson who backs a Thames Estuary airport to replace Heathrow, the redevelopment of Heathrow could potentially support 90,000 new jobs and add £7.5 billion to the UK economy.