‘Co-creation’ will shape CPH airport’s new terminal


Aarsleff, COWI, Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter and Zeso Architects are to design and plan the 80,000 m2 enlargement of Copenhagen Airport (CPH). The project is part of the unprecedented expansion which is intended to cater for 40 million passengers a year.

Passengers, staff and airlines need more space and better facilities in the airport’s busy Terminal 3. That is why Copenhagen Airport is planning a major expansion of the terminal, to add an extra 80,000 m2 while aircraft, staff and passengers continue to use the airport as usual.

So this is not just a complex construction job, but one of the largest building projects in Denmark right now – and it is to take the form of a special ‘co-creation’ partnership between CPH and a consortium comprising Aarsleff, COWI, Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter and Zeso Architects.

‘Co-creation’ means that the airport, in partnership with contractors, engineers and architects, will involve the users – staff, airlines and ground handlers, and everyone else with day-to-day business in the area – in all stages of the process of developing the project.

“Today we are presenting the consortium which will help to create the airport of the future. That is why it is important to us for the terminal to be both beautiful and functional – and it has to be constructed with a green approach. So we are delighted to introduce the team, which represents the strongest creative and technical players in the industry, and to give the public a first impression of what the new terminal will look like,” says Christian Poulsen, Technical Director at CPH.

A strong partnership working on the new terminal building

The development of the terminal will result in a much larger open area for passengers, plus a completely new reclaim hall to enable baggage handling to keep pace with the big growth in passenger numbers.

There will also be more space for new border and passport control facilities, which will facilitate the access of passengers on their way into and out of the Schengen area. All integrated in a building with an emphasis on Nordic aesthetics, architecture and sustainability.

Therefore, the consortium partners have also been selected for the co-creation process because they possess just the right technical and creative skills to design and plan a building of this kind.

“At Aarsleff we see our involvement in the process around the new terminal expansion as an invitation to contribute to the development process which will take CPH into the future as an ultramodern European airport, developed in harmony with the existing and unique architecture and the position of the airport in Greater Copenhagen and the Nordic region. The terminal can be a demonstration of Danish and Nordic values within efficient and sustainable logistics and architecture,” says Lars M. Carlsen, deputy CEO of Aarsleff.

The Project Director from COWI, Henrik Wallentin Poulsen, who will be managing the design and planning of the new building, adds:

“We look forward very much to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Copenhagen Airport. It is a thrilling challenge to design a building of this nature. It is vital for operations to carry on as usual over the four years the project will last. That means maintaining the whole flow of passengers and all other users of the airport."

"At the same time, the building itself needs to be very flexible, as it has to meet a whole range of legal requirements, functions and technical standards which are constantly evolving. So we also need to be agile and adapt the design to future needs throughout the project design phase.”


  • The terminal area after security control is to be expanded to add another 80,000 m2. The finished terminal will be 270 metres long and extend 60 metres out from the present facade.
  • The first stage of the project will be completed in 2023, and the second phase in 2028.
  • Copenhagen Airport is investing a total of DKK 20 billion in expanding the airport to cater for up to 40 million passengers.
  • The new project is expected to account for some DKK 4 billion, or 20 per cent, of this amount.



  • Aarsleff is a leading Danish contractor which has made a speciality of conceiving, planning and implementing major projects within construction, infrastructure, climate adaptation, environmental protection and energy – from design to handover.
  • Aarsleff is a limited company listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen A/S, with an annual turnover of DKK 12 billion – 29% of it generated in Denmark.
  • The Group employs 6,500 committed staff divided between the Danish parent company and subsidiaries in Denmark and abroad.


  • COWI is a leading international consultancy within engineering, environmental management and economic development.
  • COWI’s consulting services are centred around the areas of water and environment, construction and urban development, infrastructure, energy and planning. The company has offices all over the world and is engaged in more than 14,000 projects at any one time.
  • COWI has over 85 years’ experience in the consulting business, and employs 7,300 people.

Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter

  • Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter is one of Denmark’s oldest and biggest architecture firms and employs around 150 architects, designers and specialists in the Nordhavn district of Copenhagen.
  • As one of the founders of Danish modernism, Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter has been exploring and expanding the scope for architectural and aesthetic innovation since 1922, and has created buildings that improve people’s quality of life.
  • Among the company’s most striking projects are Krøyers Plads, DR Byen, Radiohuset and the future New North Zealand Hospital.


  • ZESO has an international profile built on a Nordic approach.
  • Its methodology, known as ZESO HIGH FIVE, ensures that functionality, sustainability, cost control, aesthetics and buildability receive equal attention in all phases as the basis for all development and implementation.
  • Among other things, ZESO provides consulting services to help plan and expand the capacity of airports. ZESO has solid experience with Copenhagen Airport, including master planning, renovation and new building – the renovation of Terminal 2, bus gates in Pier C, bag drop expansion in Terminal 2 and Pier E stages 1 and 2.