Terminal 4, Heathrow Airport

A range of SAS International bespoke Architectural Metalwork was specified by architects 3D Reid as part of the major re­development at Heathrow Terminal 4.

Key features




Heathrow Airport Limited


3D Reid

Main contractor

Taylor Woodrow


Advanced Interiors

Completion year


System type


Area M2


The £70 million project saw SAS International design and manufacture bespoke spun alum­inium profiled discs, acoustic metal wall panelling and System 600 rafts in the new terminal.

The architects 3D Reid had to make the building light, airy and modern yet the façade and various materials used within the terminal had to withstand potential of a security breach. All products installed ‘land-side’ were required to meet the requirements of Aviation Security in Airport Development (ASIAD). The result answers aesthetic demands, yet provides the highest level of performance for the requirements of the building.

At 1800mm in diameter, the discs feature throughout the departures concourse, suspended from the soffit to create the appearance of floating in space. Phil Oakes, Associate Director at 3D Reid comments; “There are a number of benefits to this ‘loose fit’ ceiling approach – installation is quicker, services access and co-ordination is easier and the individual ceiling elements combine to form a dramatic architectural solution.”

For the design to be realised, square aluminium sheets were cut by the manufacturer into a circle and spun into a dome. Installation in such an environment means safety cables had to be attached to each disc, wall panel, tile and raft to ensure they do not fall and cause injury. Allowance for safety cables to be attached had to be taken into consideration during the design phase.

Large vertical wall panels with an ultra-micro perforation were also specified to provide the necessary acoustic properties required for this vast open space. The very fine 0.7mm perforation, with 1% open area, helps to manage acoustics within the large open spaced terminal.

SAS600 rafts were installed in the check-in areas of the existing departures concourse. The rafts featured a curved bull-nose on the rafts, which were formed using the latest folding technology; this stops dirt and dust gathering and provides ease of cleaning. The rafts were also designed with swing down panels providing access for any essential maintenance to services behind.

The off-site modular manufacture of the architectural metalwork products meant installation was quicker, which causes less disruption to such a busy environment, and in addition there is no waste on site.

Aesthetic versatility can be achieved using SAS International Architectural Metalwork throughout projects. It also allows for inte­gration of M&E services into the building design while meeting design demands and durability requirements. The range includes acoustic baffles, acoustic wall panels, air handling units, bespoke ceilings, and column casings.

Systems used