10 coolest airports around the world

Become A Digital Member

Subscribe only for €3.99 per month.
Cancel anytime!

airport
Beijing Daxing International Airport

Airports are vital for any community in connecting people across regions, cities, and countries all around the world. The design and spatial planning of airports have evolved considerably over time with modern technology. Today’s designs of airports are modern and bold in terms of design and technology integration. New ground-breaking airports are designed, to house a large capacity of commuters moving and to have functionality in planning. Several upcoming aviation projects all around the world, focus not only on functionality but also on sustainable aspects that can be integrated. Listed here are ten unique airport architectures around the world:

1. Beijing Daxing International Airport | China

airport

Location: Beijing, China
Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Construction: Completed in 2019

Beijing Daxing International Airport is another architectural marvel designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in the Daxing district. It is an airport designed to accommodate the expanding transportation hub in Beijing. The structure accommodates around 45 million passengers annually and is estimated to accommodate 72 million passengers annually by 2025. The airport is linked to the city by several transportation (Intercity rail and Subways) and ground transportation. The organic form inspired by traditional Chinese Architecture includes six flowing forms, creating interconnected spaces around the central courtyard.

2. Madrid-Barajas Airport (Terminal 4) | Spain

airport

Location: Madrid, Spain
Design: Estudio Lamela and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Construction: Completed in 2005

The Madrid-Barajas Airport located in Madrid, Spain consists of four terminals and is the second-largest airport in Europe. The fourth terminal of the International Madrid-Barajas Airport, located in the northernmost zone of older terminals, was designed by Estudio and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The airport is the best example of a sustainably designed airport terminal, the structural systems with light-filled canyons help provide natural illumination hence reducing energy requirements. It consists of a car park building (6 Modules), connected by pathways to the terminal building characterized by 3 lineal modules.

3. Jewel Changi Airport | Singapore

airport
© Photo by Timothy Hursley

Location: Singapore
Design: Safdie Architects
Construction: Completed in 2019

The Changi Airport located in Singapore is designed by one of the noteworthy architects Moshie Safdie. Terminal 3 is a connector among the existing terminals of Changi airport, it is designed as a community-centric zone connecting the hustle & bustle of a market space and a paradise garden. The Jewel is a sustainable insert in the airport terminal inspired by a semi-inverted toroidal dome form, the jewel of the airport reflects Singapore’s “City in the Garden” reputation. The heart of the Jewel consists of an awe-inspiring indoor waterfall (Rain Vortex) element, that helps bring down the temperature in the forest environment vicinity of the terminal.

4. Queen Alia International Airport | Jordan

airport

Location: Amman, Jordan
Design: Foster + Partners
Construction: Completed in 2013

Queen Alia International Airport located in Jordan, is an example of an airport that is climate responsive in design (Passive design). The structure is designed to be flexible hence allowing future expansion and could increase its capacity from 3.5 million to 12 million by 2030. The entire canopy roof structure that spans the entire terminal, was inspired by Bedouin tents composed of 127 concrete domes. Concrete was used as a roofing material in response to Amman’s climate, where a high thermal mass concrete could passively control the internal temperature.

5. Denver International Airport | USA

airport

Location: Denver in Colorado, USA
Design: Fentress Architects
Construction: Completed in 1995

The Denver International Airport is the second largest and one of the top five busiest transport hubs in the United States of America. Fentress designed an environmentally sustainable airport that reduces energy usage with maximum natural light application. The peaked roof resembling a snow-capped mountain rises to a height of 130-150 feet (39.6–45.7 meters), supported by catenary steel cable systems. The Teflon-coated fiberglass roof system allows about 10% visible light passage in the day reflecting 90% harsh solar radiation hence reducing heat gain.

6. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport | India

airport
© Courtesy of Robert Polidori

Location: Mumbai, India
Design: SOM – Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
Construction: Completed in 2014

Terminal 2 is a part of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport designed by the world-renowned architectural firm SOM, located in Mumbai (India). The second terminal can accommodate around 40 million passengers annually in addition to the existing terminal. The structure and mega columns were design outcomes that inspired the region’s context and traditional architecture. The large-scale span terminal drop-off was inspired by the arrival and drop-off traditions of Indians. The structural designs are aesthetic yet intricate and sophisticated in design and planning. The coffered detail and intricate jaali screen on the roof and mega columns that screen and filter light hence have a touch of the regional architecture. The terminal design is the best example of modern design integration with traditional architectural inspiration.

7. Pulkovo International Airport | Russia

airports
© Courtesy of Grimshaw Architects

Location: Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
Design: Grimshaw, Pascall + Watson, Ramboll
Construction: Completed in 2014

The Pulkovo International Airport located in St. Peterburg located in Russia was designed by the iconic architect Grimshaw in a team with Pascall + Watson and Ramboll. The airport is the third largest airport in the country acting as an iconic representation of cities heritage and culture. Phase one of the airport has been completed, estimated to transfer 12 million passengers annually. The predominantly flat roof consists of 12 (18 meters wide) bays, the roof envelope not protects the interiors from harsh sunlight but also evenly distributes snow loads. The roof envelope and the interiors are well light through the day, due to the insertion of prisms that act as large roof lighting.

8. Heydar Aliyev International Airport | Azerbaijan

airports
© Photo by Kerem Sanliman

Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Design: Autoban
Construction: Completed in 2014

The Heydar Aliyev International Airport terminal was designed by the noteworthy Istanbul-based studio Autoban. The contemporary and unique form of interior architecture yet contains a cultural touch, provides a unique and exciting experience for commuters. Timber is the predominant material utilized for the interiors; the passenger spaces consist of wooden cocoons. The wooden cocoon elements are utilized for cafes, kiosks, and other amenities. The natural materials utilized in the design and the lighting elements highlight and add character to the terminal space (Well light interiors).

9. Kempegowda International Airport (Terminal 2) | India

airports
© Photo by Sam Fentress

Location: Bangalore, India
Design: SOM – Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
Construction: Ongoing (Phase 1- Functional & Phase 2 completed by the first half of 2023)

The Second terminal of the Kempegowda International Airport was designed by a renowned architectural firm SOM. The second terminal was built in phases due to the terminal’s increased passenger traffic. The terminal design was inspired by Bangalore’s “Garden City” recognition. The interiors are inspired by nature and the city’s culture and traditional architecture. The terminal is heavenly flanked by an indoor garden and landscaped retail zones with awe-inspiring ceilings with natural materials and unique elements. Natural materials utilized are; brick walls, terrazzo flooring, and bamboo ceiling. The terminals act as a sustainable airport due to energy-saving features, and the garden surrounding the lagoon which captures rainwater that can be reused.

10. Hamad International Airport | Qatar

airports
© Photo by Tim Griffith | HOK

Location: Doha, Qatar
Design: HOK
Construction: Completed in 2014

The Hamad International Airport Passenger Terminal Complex is located in the state of Qatar. The expressive and contemporary architecture of the terminal reflects Qatar’s cultural heritage and also depicts Qatar’s progressive growth and development. The organic curves and form of the terminal also reflect dunes and ocean waves. The structure consists of steel- frames of glass with an unobstructed roof creating a light-filled terminal space. The wooden ceiling is a contrast to the subtle sleek metal and glass material palette. The material utilized has a local significance and sustainable character for a long-life span.

Share with a friend:
Courses:

Learn about parametric and computational from the online courses at the PAACADEMY:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Become A Digital Member

Subscribe only for €3.99 per month. Cancel anytime!

Weekly Newsletter in Your Inbox

Explore More

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter