Luton Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART)

Our task was to evaluate how Luton Airport could better serve passenger needs in a more cohesive manner and plan for the future. While our initial brief called for air-conditioned stations, we challenged this and proposed naturally ventilated stations, featuring parasol structures that support the roof and allow light and air to permeate both stations. The Luton DART (Direct Air-Rail Transit) is a groundbreaking fully-automated people mover, intended to shuttle travelers from the Luton Airport Parkway railway station to the terminal of London Luton Airport in less than four minutes.

The two stations have established a new identity for Luton Airport with their distinctive parasols. These parasols shield passengers from the elements while providing spacious, open, and naturally lit concourses. This project necessitated the collaborative efforts of our architects, engineers, and experts across various disciplines to develop a design that seamlessly integrates into a cohesive whole. The design exemplifies Total Architecture, where engineering and architecture are harmoniously considered together.



Luton Borough Council

Year of completion

Luton Parkway, England

Total area
10.616 m2

Site area
11.091 m2

Simon Kennedy

Project Partners

Contractor: VolkerFitzpatrick and Kier; Ryan Marshall
Additional designers – architects for gateway bridge: Knight Architects; Tom Osborne
Additional designers – architect and lead designer to contractor: RPS Group; Kester Purslow
Subcontractors and manufacturers: Carvatech, Severfield, NJ Doyne, Barwest, Pilkington, Akzo Nobel, Spectra and Taylor LEDs, Vista, Delta Balustrades Ltd, Prater Ltd., Sika, Wade International Ltd, Marshalls paving, Promat, F. P. McCann, Shadbolt, British Gypsum, Quietstone, SAS, Bilco, Kingfisher lighting

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