Back to top

Geneva Airport opens new chapter with Aero benches upholstered in Stamskin Top and Stamskin Zen

[Stam]Skin Top
Project Participants
Architecture: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners — London, UK
Manufacturing & installation: Sellex — Irun, Spain
On 14 December 2021, after 10 years of works, Geneva International Airport inaugurated its ‘East Wing’ — an elegant and functional new building that will house long-haul departures and arrivals. The new addition introduces a significant improvement for Geneva Airport, with greater operational flexibility. The extension has been built in the place of another structure, originally meant to be temporary, constructed in the mid-1970s and based on now outdated capacity needs and obsolete technical and environmental standards.

A feat of engineering 

Both the design and construction of the East Wing have posed major technical challenges. The building’s exoskeleton alone is a perfect example of this: the metal framework, weighing close to 7,300 tonnes, had to be designed for installation on very limited space, on a thin strip of land between the tarmac and other pre-existing airport facilities. 

‘The completion of this emblematic building is a major turning point, as it is our first model structure in terms of energy performance,’ said Philippe Moraga, Director of infrastructure at Geneva Airport. Measuring 520 metres in length, the building has been designed to be energy efficient and sustainable: 100% of the energy used for lighting, heating and ventilation is from renewable sources.



Stamskin Top & Stamskin Zen

Stamskin Top & Stamskin Zen

Stamskin Top & Stamskin Zen

Interior furnishings designed with great care 

This project is the work of the London-based architectural firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP), which entrusted the fitting-out of the new building’s boarding halls to Sellex. For the seating, the team chose the Aero bench, one of the most popular waiting room benches in the world. Manufactured by Sellex, the design was in this instance upholstered with Serge Ferrari’s Stamskin Top and Stamskin Zen membranes. 

In total, some 250 four- to eight-seater self-standing benches have been installed throughout Geneva Airport’s East Wing. According to Douglas Paul, Associate Partner and Project Architect, early into the project, RSHP’s team of architects identified the Aero bench as a product that matched the quality aspiration for the East Wing. ‘We are delighted with the final result,’ said Douglas Paul, because the bench ‘sits comfortably with the structural expression of the jetty.’ 

Stamskin Top & Stamskin Zen: durability and comfort for the Aero bench 

Several decisive criteria influenced the decision to opt for Serge Ferrari’s Stamskin Top and Stamskin Zen. The membranes are ideally suited to furniture applications in heavy-traffic environments, while their leather-like feel and look ensure maximal comfort for passengers. 

Stamskin Top and Stamskin Zen are both safe for users. Not only are they Phthalate-free and easy to clean, they also meet fire safety standards and comply with major certifications required for public buildings. 

Their aesthetic value is further enhanced by a broad palette of colourways, for upholstery that blends into any style of environment. In this project, the different colours for the upholstery were chosen based on the colour scheme of each waiting area, to help passengers navigate this vast space. A colour code of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, grey and purple clearly defines each zone within the building. 

Durability was the final main criterion for the choice of fittings. Stamskin Top and Stamskin Zen require very little maintenance, and are robust enough to stand the test of time and resist the never-ending flow of passengers pouring through the airport’s halls. 

Sellex and Serge Ferrari Group are very proud to be able to have brought comfort, safety, colour and aesthetics to such a high-profile project. 

Geneva Airport with Stamskin by Serge Ferrari

"The restrictions related to the aviation industry, as well as the proximity to existing buildings, pushed us to the limit," explains Stirk. Fortunately, and thanks to the strong team energy between architects and engineers, they were able to solve them, because that's what innovation is all about, "finding solutions to the problems that we, as architects, have created to realize our vision."

Aeropuerto de Ginebra con Stamskin de Serge Ferrari
Aeropuerto de Ginebra con Stamskin de Serge Ferrari
Aeropuerto de Ginebra con Stamskin de Serge Ferrari