15Incheon International Airport
Named Airports Council International’s “Best Airport Worldwide” for seven years running, Incheon is a gateway to Korea and an aviation connection between Asia and the world. In mid-2011, nine international design teams competed to design a second, 72-gate terminal that doubles the airport’s size.
Designed for clarity, ease and comfort, Terminal 2 will incorporate advanced sustainable technologies to create an efficient, healthy and comfortable environment for people. Lush expanses of indoor green space will feature natural daylight, waterfalls, koi ponds, and streams intermingled with luxury lifestyle centers and boutique shopping.
Among ICN’s goals is to strengthen the airport’s role as a gateway to Asia — providing an alternative to accommodating airports in Hong Kong and Singapore. One of the new terminal’s claims to fame — besides welcoming visitors to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics — is that it will shuttle business travelers from the train to gate in 13 minutes. Gensler, Heerim and their partners in the HMGY Consortium have designed an airport with extraordinary efficiency coupled with design rooted in Korean culture. The building form was inspired by an Asian Phoenix. In Korea, this mythological beast is a symbol of authority, longevity, strength and balance.
To give travelers an immediate sense of place, the choice of materials in the terminal, including the signage and graphics, draws on textures and colors that evoke Korean culture and traditions. The flooring in the airport, for example, uses locally quarried granite and traditional Korean wood.
Inspired by leaves on trees, photovoltaic cells integrated into the building envelope capture energy from the sun. Working in tandem with skylights to minimize electrical use, they simultaneously illuminate interiors with dappled, shaded sunlight. The result is a comfortable, energy-efficient building, where passengers enjoy natural daylight in the innermost portions of the terminal.
Inside the terminal, visitors will encounter vast amounts of greenery — acres of plantings that will lighten air-conditioning and ventilation loads. It’s all part of a comprehensive plan for the terminal to be as energy efficient as any in the world by making its own energy and cleaning its own air.
The new building will offer an array of attractions that, like a city, make it a compelling destination. Amenities include VIP lounges; a landside shopping and retail district; aircraft observation deck; a transfer hotel; sculpture and exhibition areas; and gardens featuring waterfalls, indoor streams and koi ponds. The retail lifestyle centers offer double-level shopping and remote duty-free pick up of purchases from Seoul.