The main entrance to the world's busiest international airport was literally, a tip, before operator BAA commissioned a £1.85M hard landscaping project to smarten it up.
Earth slips in the poorly compacted material disfigured the rough, grass covered, cutting bordering the roads into the tunnel beneath the northern runway which leads to the Central Terminal Area. Now the entire area has been tidied up by the airport's framework suppliers who have built a steep three-tiered terrace of concrete block walls tied back with earth reinforcement and long soil nails.
Design and execution of every aspect of a project was constrained by the fact that, in effect, the site forms the sides of a narrow funnel feeding traffic in and out of the airport from the M4 and local roads 24 hours a day.
Extra space gained at ground level has been put out for use as a premium service car park. Specimen mature lime trees and beech hedges were strategically placed so they can be trained to form a green screen softening the rigid geometry of the walls and the advertising hoardings which characterise the airport's facelift.