From Realtà Mapei International n° 74 - 6/10/2019

The New Istanbul Airport

From Terminal 1 to the Control Tower: Mapei systems are now part of the new Istanbul Airport, the largest hub in the world, scheduled to be fully operational by 2020.

Two historic Mapei products were used to install ceramics and to grout large format tiles: KERACOLOR FF water-repellent cementitious mortar and ELASTORAPID high performance adhesive.

Various other products not yet available on the Turkish market were also introduced for the first time at this outstanding site, products with decades of experience on numerous Mapei sites all around the world. From MAPEFIX VE SF resin for chemical anchors in concrete structures, to MAPEI’s tried-and-tested certified waterproofing solutions for green roofs from the PURTOP line, right on up to the control tower with the AQUAFLEX ROOF PREMIUM waterproofing system.

Not to mention the various solutions from the resin and cementitious-based seamless flooring line and solutions from the MAPELASTIC range for other waterproofing work, as well as the MAPEFEX range to seal joints.

Location icon Istanbul

The 1st section of Istanbul’s new airport, designed to become the world’s largest airport in terms of annual passenger capacity, has been officially inaugurated on 29th October 2018. From soft launch till full completion, the airport is expected to open in four phases. Phase 1 was completed with 1.4 million m2 of terminal space, an ATC (Air Traffic Control) tower, support facilities and two runways.

Between 2021 and 2022, phases 2 and 3 will be completed, featuring two additional air traffic control towers and two additional runways. By 2028, the airport is expected to be fully completed with the sixth runway, as well as the opening of a satellite terminal. It will offer flights to more than 350 destinations with an annual capacity of up to 200 million passengers.

Istanbul’s new airport will also be home to the world’s largest duty-free shopping complex. The 53,000 m2 shopping complex will consist of six sections, including luxury stores and bazaars.




Istanbul new airport aims to establish itself as a major travel hub and a key player on the world aviation stage: once completed, it will be spread over 76 km2, having the world’s largest terminal under one roof.

“From an airport planning perspective, the project is unprecedented, both in terms of its size and the speed with which the project was attempted.’ said Dr Thomas Budd, Lecturer in Airport Planning and Management, Centre for Air Transport Management, Cranfield University, UK.

Mapei Yapı Kimyasalları A.S, the Turkish subsidiary of the Group, began supplying products to the project in 2016 and continued in 2017 with a broader scope, providing products and systems for several applications.

MAPEFIX VE SF chemical styrene-free vinylester anchor was chosen for bars which had been applied throughout the project. Due to its quicker setting time, this product provided great advantage in comparison with traditional epoxy based chemical materials.

MAPELASTIC FOUNDATION two-component, flexible cementitious mortar was used for waterproofing concrete surfaces in the water tanks, which were subject to both positive and negative water pressure. Prior to the application of MAPELASTIC FOUNDATION, PRIMER 3296 acrylic primer with strong penetrating action had been applied to level off the surface and improve its bonding properties.


After applying MAPELASTIC FOUNDATION, either MAPECOAT I 24 or MAPECOAT DW 25 were used for the protection of the waterproofing layers during their service life. MAPECOAT I 24 two-component epoxy paint has a high resistance to aggressive chemical agents. MAPECOAT DW 25 is a two-component epoxy paint used to form a coating on concrete surfaces that are in contact with drinking water and foodstuffs.

MAPEPROOF SWELL single component hydro-expansive paste was used to solve the delicate problem of waterproofing pipe inlets and outlets. MAPEPROOF SWELL has been specially developed to form flexible, waterproof seals in cracked reinforced concrete or in precast elements with infiltration of water.




The site’s landmark air traffic control tower has been designed by Pininfarina and Aecom, selected from six solutions proposed by international architecture studios, including Zaha Hadid, Fuksas, Moshe Safdie, Grimshaw Architects and RMJM.

The project has won the prestigious International Architecture Award 2016, promoted by the Chicago Athenaeum: The Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for Architecture, Art Design and Urban Studies.

The design concept of the tower features elements evocative of Turkish culture and is inspired by the tulip, which has been a symbol of Istanbul for many centuries and an important cultural reference in Turkish history. The shapes of the flower were redesigned and reinterpreted through Pininfarina’s identity, based on its profound knowledge in automotive design and wind tunnel modelling, as well as on the influence inherited from aerodynamic shapes used in aeronautical design.

AQUAFLEX ROOF PREMIUM ready-to-use, water-based polyurethane waterproofing membrane was used for waterproofing several surfaces in the ATC tower as it was the best solution for both old and new surfaces with slopes or irregularities.

MAPECOAT I 600 W two-component transparent epoxy primer in water dispersion was used on the surfaces as an adhesion promoter and MAPEFLEX PU 40 polyurethane sealant with a low modulus of elasticity was chosen for sealing expansion and contraction joints.

KERACOLOR FF high performance, polymer-modified, water-repellent, cementitious mortar was used for grouting joints in all the ceramic tile coverings of the project. ELASTORAPID ,high-performance, two-component, highly deformable, cementitious adhesive with extended open time, was used for bonding ceramic tiles in some piers.




For waterproofing the green terraces which cover about 75,000 m2 in the departures area, PURTOP 400 M two-component, solvent-free, spray applied, hybrid polyurea membrane was the selected product. It has an excellent resistance to alkalis and diluted acids and an elongation capacity higher than 400%. Besides, it can boast the certification for resistance to root penetration according to CEN/TS 14416 which was mandatory for green terrace application in this project. Before using PURTOP 400 M, PRIMER SN two-component fillerized epoxy primer was applied on the substrates.

MAPEFLOOR FINISH 55 highly flexible polyurethane finish was finally used as a protective layer for a 2000 m2 area where colour protection was needed.

Project data sheet

Yard terminal and air traffic control tower
Location Istanbul, Turkey
Subcategory AIRPORT
Built in 2016
Opened in 2028
Application supply of products for substrate preparation, waterproofing surfaces in tanks and terraces, chemical anchoring, installing and grouting ceramic tiles, sealing joints, coating walls
Start and finish date 2016/2018
Application Type Floor/wall covering, Waterproofing, Anchoring
Client IGA-Istanbul Great Airport
Contractor company CMLKK JV - Cengiz Mapa Limak Kolin Kalyon Joint Venture
Installer companies Umut Yalitim
Architects Nordic Office-Grimshaw-Haptic Architecture; Pininfarina-Aecom
MAPEI Distributor Umut, Himerpa, Pelenkoglu
Project Manager Horizontal
MAPEI Coordination Emrah Karatas, Mapei Yapi Kimyasallan A.S (Turkey)

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