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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Heathrow Airport is offering a first glimpse at commissioned expansion proposals by Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw, HOK, and Benoy, that will shape the future of the global hub in London. The project brief called for "bold ideas to create a world-class sustainable airport that [will] deliver innovations in passenger service, integrate local communities, and showcase the best of British design." Challenging the architects to push the boundaries of what is the current airport typology, the proposals are meant to drive a step change in global airport design.
Perkins+Will has been selected to masterplan a major mixed-use development adjacent to undergoing Istanbul New Airport - soon to be one of the largest airports in the world. The 690-hectare scheme, "Airport City" will feature a "central innovation district," hotels, retail and commercial office space, logistic centers, an expo and convention center, public space, and metro and high-speed rail connections to Istanbul and beyond.
It is surprising then to find the man or his eponymous firm Foster + Partners absent from a list like Fast Company’s “The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Architecture,” organized into superlatives: MMA Architects, “for thinking outside the big box,” Heatherwick Studio, “for reimagining green space,” or C.F. Møller Architects, “for rethinking high-rise living.” This is not to say that Foster or his firm should be substituted for any of these deserved accolades, but rather that for five decades Foster and his firm have ceaselessly worked to enhance and expand on the human experience with architectural solutions that are both inventive and practical - a fact that is perhaps lost as a result of his position within the architectural establishment.
With that in mind, we thought it was worth highlighting the many occasions over the decades where Foster + Partners has shown themselves to be among the world's most innovative practices. Read on for more.
London firm Leslie Jones Architecture has received a commission from Dubai Airports for Al Maktoum International Airport at the yet unbuilt Dubai World Centre. The latest firm to join development on the 140-square-kilometer site, it is hoped that Leslie Jones will deliver a mixed-use transit hub to cater for burgeoning local tourism and aviation industries.