6 Airport Interiors that Enhance Traveling Experience

Fort Mcmurray International Airport / office of mcfarlane biggar architects + designers. Image: © Ema Peter

The architecture thought regarding the buildings with infrastructure programs tend, generally, to ponder its reflection in issues related to the site, flow organization, revitalization, and well-articulated uses, as these projects usually are connected to a great number of users and multiple simultaneous purposes. 

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Making the interiors of the airports a more comfortable and pleasant experience is a challenge due to the scale that this kind of construction usually faces and, because of that, the choices regarding materials, furniture, and lighting might transform the atmosphere in these buildings completely. Below, you can find some project examples that use these choices in strategic and innovative ways to create more pleasant and surprising ambiances.

Beijing Daxing International Airport / Zaha Hadid Architects

Beijing Daxing International Airport / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Hufton+Crow

Constructed with the purpose to alleviate congestion at the capital’s existing airport in the city of Beijing, the Beijing Daxing International Airport is a great scale construction, with a 700.000 m² passenger terminal. Regarding the organization, the project’s plan was designed echoing principles within traditional Chinese architecture, with a central courtyard that articulates and connects every space of the program. The ceiling design, as well as the skylights and vertical openings, guarantee natural light access during the day, which creates an interesting effect in terms of spatiality.

Hamad International Airport Passenger Terminal Complex / HOK

Hamad International Airport Passenger Terminal Complex / HOK. Image © Tim Griffith | HOK

Designed to pay homage to the ocean waves and sand dunes, the Hamad International Airport Passenger Terminal Complex in Qatar adopts a ludic reference in order to create internal spaces that not only make the transit experience more pleasant but also optimize the flows and the signed functions of the building when they act as guiding paths and routes to be followed by the users. The undulated shape of the roof conforms diverse possibilities regarding the light entrance and ceiling height relations, and in each part of the complex these choices resound the specific parts of the program which they refer to:

Departing passengers experience an undulating super roof in the light-filled departure hall. The steel-framed glass wall provides unobstructed views from the curbside arrival area through the ticketing hall, enabling passengers to easily find their destinations. The longer east and west facades have similar high-performance glass that controls solar heat gain and glare. Moving through an open immigration area, originating passengers join transfer passengers on the first floor under a vast central skylight that provides visual access to one of five councorses. 

Excerpt of the descriptive memorial sent by the team project

Jewel Changi Airport / Safdie Architects

Jewel Changi Airport / Safdie Architects. Jewel Changi Airport Courtesy

This mixed-use building constructed in Singapore to act as a connector between the two existing terminals, and create a space for a marketplace and a surprising indoor garden in the Changi Airport, is an example that highlights itself by the use of vegetal pieces in the composition of exuberant interiors. The 135.700 m² complex hosts a diverse program that includes facilities for landside airport operations, hotels, commerce and restaurants, which make this space flow.

Under a dome, that measures 200 meters at the longest span, the design of the indoor garden offers great experiences for the transit passengers, who can enjoy walking trails, cascading waterfalls, gardens and witness the world’s tallest indoor waterfall of the world. The use of 200 vegetal species makes the ambiance richer and allows the indoor space to take advantage of the characteristics and qualities of open-air spaces.

Heydar Aliyev International Airport Baku / Autoban

Heydar Aliyev International Airport Baku / Autoban. Image: © Kerem Sanliman

Located in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, the new terminal of the local airport boasts outstanding interior design. The idea, according to the project description, is to overturn airport conventional logic as a space of impersonal and isolated experiences and, for that, custom-made wooden ‘cocoons’ that spans the entirety of the terminal’s passenger spaces were designed. These devices offer a cozy space, besides providing opportunities to meet people thanks to a furniture design that upend usual airport typologies mainly regarding the choice of materials. The use of wood, stone, and textiles, along with well-thought-out lighting schemes, make the environment more stimulating to the touch, more subtle and, hence, more welcoming.

Kurumoch International Airport and VIP-Lounges / Nefa Architects

Kurumoch International Airport and VIP-Lounges / Nefa Architects. Image: © Ilya Ivanov

With a design that refers to the status of Samara city, in Russia, distinguished by the largest missile production plant remaining since the Soviet era, the lounges and the interiors of the Kurumoch International Airport feature curved lines and a futuristic aspect of the furniture, from the chosen materials and shapes to the music playing, that relies on famous movies soundtracks such as “Star Wars”. This atmosphere is reinforced by the lighting choices that are present in the glowing ends of almost every object and create effects that echo the intended aerospace context.

Fort Mcmurray International Airport / Office Of Mcfarlane Biggar Architects + Designers Inc.

Fort Mcmurray International Airport / office of mcfarlane biggar architects + designers. Image: © Ema Peter

The connection with the local context is an important part of the project that seeks to become a reference for this growing community whose identity is continually evolving. For that matter, the handling of the indoor spaces relates to the materials possibilities and local labor force, which were coupled with a desire to institute efficient green building measures. 

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Cite: Daudén, Julia . "6 Airport Interiors that Enhance Traveling Experience " [6 Interiores de aeroportos que tornam a experiência dos passageiros mais confortável] 27 Mar 2020. ArchDaily. (Trans. Peixoto Almeida, Amanda) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/936299/6-airport-interiors-that-enhance-traveling-experience> ISSN 0719-8884

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