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Airports: The Latest Architecture and News

ZGF Gives a New Look at Portland International Airport's New Main Terminal

ZGF Architects has shared new visuals showcasing the main terminal of the Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon. Inspired by the forest landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, the terminal renovation and expansion emphasizes openness, light and connection to the region’s materials. The structure features a series of skylights and an expansive timber roof made from sustainably sourced regional wood.

Courtesy of ZGF ArchitectsCourtesy of ZGF ArchitectsCourtesy of ZGF ArchitectsCourtesy of ZGF Architects+ 5

Why Do We Keep Building Waiting Rooms?

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Pretty much everyone hates waiting rooms. Here are four statistics about them from a survey administered by Software Advice, an Austin, Texas-based consultation group: 80% of respondents said being told the accurate wait time would either completely or somewhat minimize their frustration; 40% said they would be willing to see another physician if it meant a shorter waiting time; 20% would be willing to pay an extra fee for quicker service; and 97%—virtually all of us!—are frustrated by wait times. And now, waiting rooms, in addition to being some of the dreariest places on earth, have become one of the easiest places in the world to get sick.

Berlin-Tegel Airport Reimagined as New Urban Tech Incubator in Germany

The team of von Gerkan, Marg and Partners Architects (gmp) has created a new vision for the Berlin-Tegel Airport in Germany. As of May 2021, the site will be developed into a research and industrial park for urban technologies. Dubbed the Berlin TXL–Urban Tech Republic, the project will transform existing buildings to house new functions, and include the addition of a new start-up and innovation center in the central terminal building.

6 Airport Interiors that Enhance Traveling Experience

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

AERIAL FUTURES: Living Laboratories Symposium. Announcement & Open Call for Papers

The AERIAL FUTURES: Living Laboratories Symposium examines the confluence of urban elements within the airport landscape—transportation, commerce, public space and technological interfaces—and how Asian airports introduce alternatives for life in transit.

By 2035, it’s estimated that air travel in Asia will be greater than Europe and North America combined, with routes in Asia serving an extra 1.8 billion annual passengers. Increase in airport capacity challenges physical infrastructure as much as operations and passenger experience. A trillion dollars is earmarked for airport development in Asia alone in the next 10 years. Unprecedented growth requirements are difficult to meet and concrete alone is

AERIAL FUTURES: Newburgh Enclosures

Imagining New York Stewart International Airport as a catalyst for urban regeneration

AERIAL FUTURES: The Third Dimension

A public event at Harvard GSD examines the lower sky as a site of mobility

Increasing congestion and advances in autonomous technology are set to transform how we move around our cities. Many are now looking to the sky — the third dimension — as an expansive space for new kinds of mobility. Autonomous flying vehicles, such as cargo drones and flying taxis, have the capacity to disrupt how we move goods and passengers around urban space. Responding to these real-world changes, AERIAL FUTURES: The Third Dimension examines Urban Air Mobility (UAM), asking how scalable and on-demand UAM models could reduce road traffic, pollution, accidents and the strain on existing public transport networks. Within these opportunities are also challenges to overcome: noise, community acceptance, safety, cyber security and seamless integration with existing aircraft operations.

Rethinking the Future of Air Travel: Students and Fentress Architects Collaborate in Venice Biennale Exhibition

Deemed to be the homogenized "spaces of circulation, consumption, and communication", airports around the world appear to be almost indistinguishable in their dissolution of identity. Despite technological changes in air travel, the typology of the airport has remained consistently ordinary.

In the European Cultural Center’s biennial exhibition, students from North Carolina State University’s College of Design worked alongside Curtis Fentress, Ana-Maria Drughi, and Joshua Stephens of Fentress Architects to propose innovative concepts for reshaping air travel. PLANE—SITE’s latest film from their series of short videos of the Time-Space-Existence exhibition showcases this design collaboration.

2018/19 Fentress Global Challenge: Re-Envisioning the Airport Terminal Building for the Year 2075

Global commerce and the unprecedented demand for travel and have resulted in the proliferation of airports around the world. In their short history, terminal buildings have been criticized for employing generic architectural forms that are unapologetically disconnected from their context and cultural identity. Technical complexity and functional design have often taken precedence over quality and comfort for users.

Aerial Futures: Leading Edge Symposium

Aerial Futures: Leading Edge is lively, provocative and interdisciplinary symposium examining the architecture, technologies and cultures of the contemporary airport. Curated by PLANE—SITE and free to attend, this two-day event understands the airport as a choreographed topography of hypermobility, information and cultures, defining how we travel, trade and connect with each other. It marks the threshold between land and sky, as well as sovereign territories. The airport — what the philosopher Giorgio Agamben describes as a ‘zone of exception’ where the ordinary rules no longer apply — is where the definitive issues of the 21st century play out.

Why Zaha Hadid Architects' Beijing "Mega-Airport" Is Now Set To Become The World's Largest Aviation Hub

When in 2015 Zaha Hadid Architects and ADP Ingeniérie unveiled designs for the "world's largest airport passenger terminal" in Beijing, much of the political maneuvering to allow it live up to its claim remained unclear. But the situation has since changed, Bloomberg reports, with the Chinese authorities designating this new terminal—which will compete with the capital's existing airport—as "the hub for members of the SkyTeam alliance."

Safdie Architects’ Changi Airport Will Host World's Tallest Indoor Waterfall

The world’s largest indoor waterfall is currently being built in Singapore’s new Jewel Changi Airport extension. Designed by Safdie Architects, the spheroid-shaped dome will be a new luxury lifestyle destination for one of the world’s busiest airports and is a feat of engineering and sustainability. At approximately 134,000 sqm in size, the Jewel offers a range of facilities including airport services, indoor gardens, shopping and leisure attractions – including a canopy park in the upper levels of the dome.The 40m-tall waterfall is designed by water design firm WET, whose commissions include the Bellagio fountains and Burj Khalifa. Dubbed the Rain Vortex, the ambitious cascade will be the centerpiece for the project’s “Forest Valley” urban garden.

Helsinki Airport to Be Transformed with Undulating Roof and Public Landscape

The team consisting of ALA Architects, HKP Architects and Ramboll Finland has won an invited competition for the renovation and expansion of Helsinki Airport’s Terminal 2 with their entry titled “City Hall.” Organized by Finnish airport operator Finavia, the competition asked four international firms to create a new airport plan centered around a reenvisioned terminal that will allow the airport to efficiently serve up to 20 million passengers per year.

Rendering by VIZarch. Coutesy of ALA ArchitectsRendering by VIZarch. Coutesy of ALA ArchitectsRendering by VIZarch. Coutesy of ALA ArchitectsRendering by VIZarch. Coutesy of ALA Architects+ 8

Paul Andreu: "I Would Only Take On a Project if the Ideas Were Mine. Otherwise, I Am Not Interested."

Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal 1, Paris, 1967-1974. Image © Paul Maurer
Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal 1, Paris, 1967-1974. Image © Paul Maurer

For 40 years, Paul Andreu was among the world's foremost airport design experts. Reflecting on this before the turn of the millennium, he stated that architectural historians of the future might consider the 1990s as “the age of the air terminal.” But shortly after this, he left the arena of airport design to focus on other large projects, many of them in China. In this interview, the latest of Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Andreu explains why he made the switch and shares his thoughts on how good architecture is made—saying it often depends more on what you don't tell your client than what you do.

Paul Andreu: Before we start, I must explain something. I am an architect and engineer. For a long time I was not an independent architect but worked at and then was the head of airport works at Aéroports de Paris Ingénierie or ADPi, a subsidiary of Aéroports de Paris (ADP). This public establishment is not only in charge of the planning, design, and operation of three Paris-region airports, but is also involved in airport works all around the world, as well as other large-scale architectural projects. First, we did airports in France, then in the Middle East and Africa, then in China and all over Asia, and then we developed projects in other parts of the world. Most of the time we developed our projects from concept all the way through construction; although once we did just the concept for Kansai airport on a specially built island in the Bay of Osaka. As you know, it was designed by Renzo Piano and I consulted for him on function and circulation aspects.

Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal II, modules A & B, Paris, 1972-1982. Image © Labo ADPCharles-de-Gaulle airport, Terminal II, modules A & B, Paris, 1972-1982. Image © Labo ADPNew airport of Jakarta, Sukarno-Hatta, Indonesia, 1977-1985. Image © Labo ADPNational Centre for the Performing Arts (Opéra de Pékin), Beijing, China, 1999-2007. Image © Paul Maurer+ 69

Considering the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow

Aerial Futures, Grounded Visions: Shaping the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow was a two-day symposium held in October 2016 as part of the European Cultural Center's collateral event at the 2016 Venice Biennale. It encouraged discussion about the future of air travel from the perspectives of architecture, design, technology, culture and user experience. The event featured presentations and discussions by the likes of airport architect Curtis Fentress, Nelly Ben Yahoun, Donald Albrecht, Director of the Museum of the City of New York; Anna Gasco, post-doctoral researcher at the ETH-Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore; Jonathan Ledgard, co-founder of the Droneport Project; and Ashok Raiji, Principal at Arup New York.

Courtesy of Aerial FuturesCourtesy of Aerial FuturesCourtesy of Aerial FuturesCourtesy of Aerial Futures+ 4

Aerial Futures: Grounded Visions for the Airport Terminal of Tomorrow

The Aerial Futures symposium explores the current state of airport design and the future of this rapidly evolving architectural typology. The symposium brings thinkers and practitioners to Venice for two days, and is open to the general public.