Published on 3 December 2022

Terminal 1 reopens and reveals its new passenger experience

On 5 December 2022, after several months of modernisation work, Terminal 1 officially welcomed passengers again. Closed since 30 March 2020 due to the Covid crisis, its reopening was accompanied by the unveiling of a brand new nodal building and a new, innovative passenger pathway, which fully embody Groupe ADP's quality of service and hospitality requirements.

The National Heritage Terminal 1 was built in 1974

Terminal 1, which was designed in the late 1960s by French architect Paul Andreu, is an iconic project at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. It was opened on 8 March 1974 and is the first terminal of this new airport based 22km from Paris. This original and rounded concept was developed from a functional reflection on the fluidity of the passenger journey, the separation of flows, accessibility by car, new aircraft models and in a brutalist style, which gives pride of place to "raw" materials such as concrete.

All my choices were motivated by a concern for efficiency - I wanted to build a machine that worked well, that met the needs of passengers and companies - but also by a desire for novelty. I was sensitive to the meaning of such a space. An airport always takes on a symbolic charge, which is of the order of passage, of transformation... as in other eras, roads, bridges, stations...
Paul Andreu
Terminal 1 Architect

In this new concentric terminal, passengers' path is extremely well-defined: we always go up and we never go down. A series of spaces allow light to pass through, such as the central shaft, or on the contrary offer a soft atmosphere, in particular via access tunnels to 7 satellites circling the central body on a regular basis. The whole thing is designed to emerge into the light in the middle of the aircraft areas.

Vidéo in French

The first terminal of the "Paris Nord" airport under construction for almost 3 years

On 30 March 2020, Terminal 1 at Paris-CDG airport closed due to the Covid-19 crisis. However, the airport terminal did not remain asleep for all that. Groupe ADP's teams have carried out numerous repairs, refurbishments and re-lighting work on the existing facilities. Thus, almost three years later, Terminal 1 is once again ready to welcome its passengers

The existing terminal is being modernised as a continuation of Paul Andreu's work

The reopening of Terminal 1 is part of the group's 2025 Pionners strategy, which focuses on service quality and hospitality. The reopening is characterised by the modernisation of the central body, with some fifty operations carried out: marble flooring, installation of LED lighting, nearly 130 self-service kiosks and 90 automatic baggage drop-off points for 124 multi-company check-in counters, digital signage, new layout of passenger queues, densification and simplification of the international border, etc. 

A new nodal building, resulting from the junction of satellites 1, 2 & 3


This strategy is also the reflection of a brand new international passenger path, ending in a new boarding hall, facing the central body, of 5600m², offering travellers more space, comfort and a design reminiscent of the first great hours of the aeronautical adventure.

The façade of the building, which replaces satellite 2 and is adjacent to satellite 1 to the north and connects to satellite 3 to the south, echoes the central body of Terminal 1 through a double visual effect: the real reflection of the central body, to which is added the virtual reflection, the image produced by the silk-screen printing on the windows. Here, Groupe ADP is significantly improving the passenger experience: a single entrance for the international zone and the installation of self-boarding equipment; the creation of larger and more modern control areas; volumes that emphasise light and offer more space in the boarding hall, which is more efficient thanks to an appropriate thermal treatment.

These works mark the achievement of the first stage of Paul Audreu's ultimate vision during his lifetime, namely the total linking of the 7 original satellites.

Eventually, a resizing of the border controls, currently located on level 4 of the central body of the terminal, will be carried out, with the creation of a new building of almost 5,000m², buried not far from the new junction building.

This reopening symbolically marks the end of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Paris airports. We decided to give new life to this almost fifty-year-old infrastructure by modernising the existing building, fully in line with the work of Paul Andreu. Terminal 1, still a pioneer, embodies the renewal of the welcome and hospitality at Paris airports, and in particular the best in design and culture that we wish to offer to our passengers.
Augustin de Romanet
Chairman and CEO of Groupe ADP

Passenger experience at the highest standards of service quality, hospitality & culture

A concept of Groupe ADP's hospitality brand, Extime, the new departure lounge was conceived and imagined by two French designers, Maxime Liautard and Hugo Toro. It offers a unique design and hospitality experience. Created on a human scale, it guarantees maximum travel time of 6 minutes from the end of security checks to the boarding gate.

Based on Ernest Hemingway's short stories, A Moveable Feast, the design offers passengers several iconic elements of Parisian life: historic posts, lights reminiscent of fireworks, brass in reference to the legs of the counters and tables of Parisian bars.

On the hospitality side, the seating areas are a combination of straight and curved benches, elongated seats, and work areas characterised by modesty screens behind the benches, tables and seats, etc.

Paul had an almost filial relationship with Terminal 1. In a very strong way, Terminal 1 was the matrix of the rest of his work. Everything that is most important in all his other works is present there: the curve, the concrete, and also the work on the passage. The passage is symbolised by this elevation, this first take-off, and then afterwards by the passage of the underground to arrive in the satellites. We pass under the earth, we leave something to go up towards the light and towards the destination towards which we will fly.
Nadine Eghels Andreu
Paul Andreu's widow

Finally, art is a key part of the passenger experience. Like all Parisian airport terminals, it is unique and unexpected, both on arrival and on departure. But with the reopening of Terminal 1, it is being deployed for the first time in exhibition spaces integrated from the design of the infrastructure.

3 new exhibitions are to be discovered at the time of the reopening of the terminal, for a period of 2 to 3 years:

Puce-Bleue  Archisable, in the public area on the Departures level

Puce-Bleue  La ballade de Paris (The Paris Ballad), by Jean-François Rauzier, in the access tunnel to the junction building

 Puce-Bleue  Paris, les Numéros 1 (Paris, Numbers 1), by Thierry Bouet, in Satellite 3, Arrivals level.