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Entries in Airport Design (31)


A New Airport for India’s New Gateway: Gensler’s Design for Chennai International

Photo courtesy of Gensler

Q&A with Gensler’s Kashyap Bhimjiani, a senior designer for Chennai International airport’s new terminals.

India’s third-busiest airport, Chennai International is the gateway to country’s southern region.

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The Case for Flipping the Terminal

Memphis International Airport in the early 1970s. Photo courtesy of Ed Uthman/Wikimedia Commons

In the very early days of commercial aviation, designers used train stations as inspiration for airport terminals. But the unique demands of the industry eventually led to a departure from the train station template. Individual hold rooms distributed along concourses replaced marshalling passengers from large, central waiting rooms as the norm. This increased the horizontal spread of the facility which, at larger airports, led to the adoption of various mechanical means of conveyance to shorten the travel times and distances for passengers. These systems de-coupled the adjacency demands of aircraft boarding from those of ticketing and baggage claim with resulting impacts on terminal design. This, more than any other factor, has influenced the horizontal layout of the terminal building. But what about the vertical?

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Celebrating Arrival at the Airport

Throughout the 20th century airports served as civic icons for the dreams, aspirations, and the identities of their cities. Even for terminals that inherently represented the fanciful nature of flight (JFK's TWA Terminal, pictured above, and Washington Dulles are great examples), the segment of the journey that was always emphasized was the departure sequence. This created a magical experience for those passengers embarking upon a journey or for visitors ending their holiday. Yet for an airport that looks to announce its city as a desirable destination, isn't that backwards? Shouldn't the arrivals sequence be the moment where an airport welcomes guests to a city with a grand architectural gesture, or at least with daylight and a view?

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LEEDing the Way at Portland JetPort 

This week Portland International’s Jetport Terminal became only the second commercial terminal in the United States to achieve LEED Gold certification—the Gensler designed SFO T2 was the first. We sat down with project manager Jim Stanislaski to put the achievement in perspective and understand what’s next in the field of sustainable aviation design.

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No Bucks, No Buck Rogers!

A recent study determined that the combined economic impact of airport-connected activity represented 8 percent of U.S. GDP and 7 percent of overall U.S. employment in 2010. By this measure if U.S. Airports were a company, they would be the second largest company in the nation after Wall-Mart. In spite of this economic clout many U.S. airports are struggling to find their economic voice.

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