Illuminated signs - design and visual presence for the new terminal

Zurich Airport: Railway Station Terminal and Airside Centre

Controlling mobility perfectly through information

Energy efficiency, minimum maintenance, dependability, cost-effectiveness

The entire signage system was redesigned and redeveloped in line with  the scope of the international tender for the 5th Expansion Project of Zurich Airport. The client demanded energy efficiency, low maintenance requirements, reliability  and cost-effectiveness for the entire lifecycle. Rapid  tool-free design conversion was particularly important, as constant signaling adjustments had already been required  during the construction phase . In collaboration with the industrial design department of Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, London, BURRI developed a slim-line, variable and perfectly coordinated global system. BURRI has developed, manufactured and locally installed innovative solutions. New design standards determined  the minimum overall depth and  consistent illumination still required. The graphic design is by Designalltag Zurich.

Products used

Making of

Competencies deployed in development: 
Development and construction
Electronics and control technologies
Installation and maintenance
Design and prototyping

Precise planning, production and installation just in time

Smooth, active retrofitting

Airport building projects are complex and under serious time pressure. Due to the process and planning support by BURRI, the costs could be significantly reduced for design planners and client. BURRI relieved the client and the planners in numerous co-ordination operations as well. 
BURRI was able to bring in its competence for lighting, advertising technology, guidance systems and special solutions in numerous further detailed contributions for the railway station terminal, the Dock Midfield and the Airside Centre. That is where airport and users of BURRI public elements benefit in the field of signage, with the conversion of shop fronts and shop signs, the installation of information and advertising steles as well as from the cost-effectiveness and aesthetics of the large-scale light boxes and the mega posters on the multi-storey car parks.

Colour-true, anti-glare and energy-efficient illumination of the graphics

Structural innovation for the benefit of visual presence

The light dispersion modules in sandwich construction (patent/registered design) developed by BURRI for the Illuminated Display 3000 enable maximum light efficiency and uniform illumination during sidewise light irradiation with one to two T5 FL tubes. With a thickness of only 16 mm, graphics panels from a length of 0.65m up to 3m x 2m can be backlit on both sides. A special layer composition enables the illumination on both sides with only one light dispersion panel without the black-and-white graphics shining through. Including the corresponding frame an overall depth of 40mm is not exceeded. The easy to maintain folding frame with integrated electronic components is based on the BURRI patent Illuminated Display 3000. Its special feature is the quick, "no tools required" changeover of graphics, tubes and electrical components.

Greater flexibility with lower life cycle costs

Flexibility and cost-effectiveness thanks to intelligent system technology

Even during the current 5th construction phase of the airport the BURRI System 3000 paid off, as the signage system had to be repeatedly refitted with numerous graphics due to the construction works. With the previous illuminated signs this would have resulted in very high additional costs. 
The BURRI system features "no tools required" maintenance. This means: simple changeover of graphics and replacement of tubes and ballasts in a matter of minutes, which can be carried out directly by the airport personnel. As the system is a solid body without cavity, cleaning is reduced to the external surfaces. The cost-intensive cleaning of a cavity, as with other systems, is not required. At the same time the system is completely impact-resistant. Articulated mounting components guarantee additional damage protection during collisions.

Setting high standards

Development towards the ideal price-performance ratio

The technology and usability requirements were specified by BURRI and Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners themselves for the benefit of the customer. Besides maintenance and technology requirements, standards such as Electrosuisse inspection, CE conformity and electro-magnetic compatibility as well as the use of commercial electrical components, TL5 FL tubes with electronic ballast, halogen-free cables and plug connections within and outside of the display were defined.
These details are not only of interest with regard to safety; in fact forward-looking planning saves future expensive retrofitting and avoidable modifications.

Implementing ideal solutions with competent project partners

Co-operative development creates added value for the customer

Involved partners:
- Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, London: Architecture and industrial design
- Graphic Design by Designalltag Zurich
- PGF, Planer Gemeinschaft Flughafenkopf consortium
- ARGE Zayetta
- Client, airport operator Unique: Planning/evaluation of the prototypes, engineering
- Clear Channel Outdoor
- General contractor
- Design planners
- Lighting designers
- Fachplaner
- Lichtplaner