Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has pledged a ‘next-level customer journey’ for its 71 million passengers in the coming years. In a travel retail media first interview, the airport tells Luke Barras-Hill that expansive plans for its new Lounge 1 have been finalised and there is a strong commercial onus.
Dramatic changes are set to unfold in the coming years at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s (AMS) Lounge 1 departures area, the beating heart of the airport’s commercial operations and a leading source of non-aeronautical revenue.
“We had a presentation of Lounge 1 in May with our business partners,” confirms Tanja Dik, Director Consumer Products & Services, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “Architects took us through the new drawings and our business partners are impressed, so we are very happy.”
Construction of the new Lounge is slated to begin in 2020 and complete in early 2023. During this period, AMS aims at systematically reconfiguring the airport’s thronging atrium, which serves as a critical artery for intra-European departures, arrivals and transfer traffic between the security zone and surrounding piers.
COMMERCIAL FOOTPRINT OF 5,500SQ M
In total, Lounge 1 will increase from 13,000sq m to 20,000sq m. A total of 5,500sq m will be available for commercial purposes, with Kappé and Gebr. Heinemann and Royal Schiphol Group venture Schiphol Airport Retail set to feature. In addition, AMS will also add a further 2,000sq m of retail space to the mix.
“We already know all the business partners in Lounge 1 will be returning but of course with refreshing ideas,” comments Dennis Stout, Project Director Lounge 1, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “We will have around 15% available for new tenants.”
There will be at least one flagship retail area of around 130sq m (the tenant is yet to be confirmed) in an overhauled and expanded area flanked by a wave of shops.
Central to the reconfigured layout are three distinct, thematic spaces: Land (Welcome/Goodbye Zone), Cloud (Explore Zone) and Air (Relax Zone).
A major influencer for the project is to smooth the traveller journey and alleviate stress. In doing so, AMS aims to create a seamless balance between efficient passenger flows while providing a multifarious retail spread alongside plenty of greenery and art.
PERFECTING PASSENGER FLOW
Travellers will encounter the ‘Land’ zone after security, which is epitomised by a wooden façade that forms the divide with ‘Air’ – this will feature all F&B units with a view of the platforms and runways. Passengers can elect to visit ‘Air’ to eat and relax or take a trip to the ‘Cloud’ to shop.
“A big challenge was the fact that we had to design the new lounge in an existing building, having the ambition to extend the commercial area, create two passenger flows and offering retail and F&B that meets the demand of our passengers,” comments Stout.
As part of the project, security on the current ground level providing access to the gate areas will move up one level. A two-way flow system – one for arrivals and another for departures passengers – will occupy the vacated space.
Separating these, says Stout, was key to the design. In this way, arrivals and departures traffic is delineated, but can merge into the Cloud zone.
“The expectation is that this will increase the residence time – rest and overview are important indicators under which passengers want to consume,” he adds.
“With the Land – Cloud – Air design, we want to create a pleasant and quieter area where you can shop and enjoy your time.”
More from this exclusive interview with Schiphol Airport to follow…