Stansted Airport Expansion

Stansted, United Kingdom

In March 1991, Queen Elizabeth II opened Sir Norman Foster's new airport terminal at Stansted Airport. For this structure, which Brian Clarke described as ‘one of the great moments of modernism, sublimely beautiful’, he created two friezes and a 6-metre-high tower of stained glass (totalling 1,464 square feet) for a circulation area in the centre of the terminal which echoed elements of Foster's structure.

By 1994, the tower had been removed to allow greater flow of traffic through the space, and later the friezes were also removed. The stained glass tower was described by Foster in 2020 as ‘a focal point in Stansted, a column like the classical obelisk in a city — a visual reference point from a distance.’