I think I can speak for most people when I say, I enjoy flying, but I dislike airports. I do not know what it is, why airports are so wild, and crazy, and hectic, where one can walk in circles and still not know where they are going or supposed to go. A labyrinth of terminals labeled A, B, C, etc. that jut out in every direction, people running trying to make their flight on time, security watching everyone like a hawk, only adding to the tension. As the first and last image an air traveler has of a city, an airport should leave an impression, but surely not one of dread and frustration, and instead a positive one.
Enter Terminal 3 by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, winner of the design competition for a new terminal at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport in China. Since Shenzhen is one of the most important industrial and touristic locations in China, it was important for the design to consider global, national, and regional implications and uses for those traveling to and from the airport. Not only would the terminal serve as the global aviation gateway between China and the rest of the world, but it also would be used by passengers traveling from neighboring cities.
In order to handle the unpredictable nature of the aviation industry, T3 is designed for maximum flexibility in the hopes of resolving the complexities of modern air travel, combining special clarity with high service standards. The terminal is open to views to the outside and planned under a single unifying roof canopy with a double skin pattern. This construction decision will prevent direct sunlight from entering the building and creates a light elegant atmosphere. The terminal plaza provides access to the baggage handling, departures and arrivals hall on the ground floor as well as cafes, restaurants, offices, and facilities for business meetings. The vast plaza was made possible with the use of mega-trusses to create a more pleasant waiting space.
The concourse area is composed of three levels, each designed for departure, arrival, and services, that leaves room for expansion in the future if needed. The concept for the interior space is fluid with two major spatial characters consisting of movement and pause. The idea of pause is executed through the retail spaces and waiting lounges that seem to be made naturally following spatial fluid. In construction terms, the design optimizes the performance of materials selected on the basis of local availability, functionality, application of local skills, and low cost procurement.
There are three phases in which this project will go through during construction, the first will be in 2015 that will include the unit terminal with 63 contact gates, the first stage of the APM, traffic system, parking place, landscape, and shopping center. Phase 2 is predicted to being in 2025, and the third Phase in 2035. Even though the Shenzhen International Airport Terminal 3 will not be fully realized for quite some time, there’s a timeless elegance and beauty to the structure that will continue to dive it’s completion and will hopefully restore the peace and joy that is flying.
Courtesy of Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas