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Beautiful Airport Terminals  
User currently offlineBrissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 1470 times:

In this day and age airport terminals are all glass, concrete, etc, so what a delight it is to see terminals such as the following:

Sochi Airport - Russia

Santa Barbara Regional Airport - California

Are there any other fine examples of architecturally delightful airport terminals out there?



46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1325 times:

What do you have against glass and concrete? Look at London Stansted: That is exactly what a well-designed airport should look like (from the inside). Personally, I prefer functionality to unnecessary gimmicks in an airport. And I really really like light inside an airport terminal (Look at the Heathrow Terminal 2 Check-In area to find an example of ugliness: Low ceiling, little light)

User currently offlineDustweek From Japan, joined Aug 1999, 77 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1308 times:

Those are beautiful buildings.
But most people don't want their airports to look like city halls (Sochi Airport) or Southern California golf resorts (Santa Barbara).

I think airports should look like airports...

My favorite "beauty" is KIX (Kansai, in Osaka Japan).

It looks like a wing and "feels" like an airport.

For me, an airport that looks like a bus terminal is the worst design. An airport should look like a temple to modern technology, not a functional transit facility (although it should BE a functional transit facility).

User currently offlineDeltaSFO From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2488 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1298 times:

The New International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport.

Enough said.


It's a new day. Every moment matters. Now, more than ever.
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7928 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1286 times:

If you want beautiful airport terminals, SFO's new International Terminal, HKG's Chep Lap Kok airport, Osaka's Kansai International, and the soon-to-open Inchon International Airport near Seoul are all stunning airports in terms of architecture.  

User currently offlineTim From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 704 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1278 times:

When I visited Hongkongs Chep Lap Kok Airport in March 99 I was amazed by the great feeling of 'space' you get inside the terminal. With the bright lighting it creates a very comfortable and quiet atmosphere.

CLK gets my vote. It is a remarkable example of great architechture and design


User currently offlineBrissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1275 times:

I have everything against concrete and glass when there is a much more asthetic designs available. Sochi Airport is very indicative of Russian architecture from the period. Santa Barbara is what architecture in the region looks like.

My post isn't at all on functionality, is it on architectural grandeur. I don't see why an airport should be a 'temple to modern technology'. There is nothing stopping an airport from being functional and modern, but there is also no reason why an airport can't be designed to reflect on that city/country.

Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta is a modern facility, but yet it's design is based upon traditional Indonesian architecture

Seoul's Kimpo Airport, whilst modern in design, still keeps a Korean feel with it's design

And from memory, Albuquerque Airport is designed in the architecture that is "unique" to New Mexico and Phoenix

User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1259 times:

I don't want to annoy anyone with this, but I cannot help getting the feeling that building airports to "local" architectural styles is like building a tourist attraction, or an indian reservation selling the local culture -i.e. a fake copy of something remarkable. An airport is an airport. Local architecture is local architecture.

I still prefer concrete and glass in an airport to a Disneyland version of what the local history looks like. Just my opinion on the matter.

That said, those pictures look interesting, even if I still prefer light-filled glassy and white airports.

User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1245 times:

For beautiful, clean, polite, efficient airports, just look at Amsterdam.

Just wonderful !

User currently offlineAirbus_a340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1232 times:

Hong Kong International airport.....Chek Lap Kok gets my votew.....there is soooo much "space"...

There slogan on TV.
"Hong Kong International Airport-Ours for the future."

Trevs AKA Airbus_A340  

People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineBrissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1225 times:

As far as airports being tourist attractions, to some extent they are. You need only look at such airports as Changi, Hong Kong, etc, to see what they offer to tourists.

But as for an airport being built in local architectural style, I think it is very important, especially in those country's which do have a distinct style, as a person's first impression of that country is more often than not, the airport (not including if you flew on the country's national airline). For example, when you land at Soekarno-Hatta or Ngurah Rai (Denpasar), you know you are in Indonesia, because of the airport architecture. When you land at Kimpo, you know you are in Korea, because of the style. It is a pity that the "modern" look these days is very plain and boring. An example of this is Kansai. It is all concrete, glass, etc. Traditional Japanese architecture is in such a style that light is a major factor in the design.

That is pretty much where I am coming from anyway.



User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1227 times:

My favs are Terminal 4 at LHR, Stansted, T1 at JFK, as well as the soon to be built international and AA terminal also at JFK complete with Air Train that will connect with all terminals an the Howard Beach Subway station. As well as Terminal C at EWR and The Marine terminal at LGA.

User currently offlineIlyag From Israel, joined Jan 2001, 122 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1218 times:

For me this is mostly a question of taste, and it is very hard to match tastes of different people.

I, personally, liked JFK Terminal 5 (TWA, I'm so sorry for them). It has a very unique architecture, although it was built back in sixties. When you arrive and get out of the jetway, you continue along glass corridor whith a view to your plane. It was a very spectacular view, as I remember it when I arrived there on TW884 (747-100) from TLV.

User currently offlineAA767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 1200 times:

Nothing beats PUJ.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Chris Johnson

User currently offlineRominato From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 268 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 1197 times:

Glad you mentioned Santa Barbara. I love going to that airport. I actually try my best to go through there in stead of BUR or LAX if at all practical. It's nice because it's not that it's gimmicky, but that terminal has been there forever, it seems, and it's a way of stepping into the past. It's still perfectly functional, and frankly, I think it's a lot of fun to actually walk out on the tarmac and up the stairs to the plane. It harkens back to a time when travelling by air was a grand affair.

If you get the chance, fly through Santa Barbara. It's great!

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 1196 times:

Great pic of PUJ! There was a fairly lengthy article in this past Sunday's New York Times Travel section about how hot Punta Cana is. (Made me happy, TW is a player in this market!) Anyway, they had a photo of this small airport and described it briefly, the rooks is made of cana leaves and periodically they all blow away and need replacing. The airport is without walls and completely open, but service (getting bags after a trip) is very lazy.

Another interesting airport is Gaza International Airport in the Gaza Strip. Gaza is the main hub for Palestinian Airlines and brand new. However, it's distinctive architechture reflects ancient and traditional Arab and Muslim designs.

TWA's Terminal 5 of course is a stark sweeping remnant of when air travel was glamorous. Hopefully when that terminal is rehabilitated and annexed to a new Terminal 6, JetBlue Airways will take better care of it than TW did.


User currently offlineUs330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3840 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 1177 times:

Vancouver's International Terminal.

User currently offlineAlle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1175 times:

Helsinki-Vantaa "Gateway" (International) terminal.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Jorgos Tsambikakis

Alexander Holst
Helsinki, Finland
ICQ 94604005

User currently offlineScutfarcus From United States of America, joined May 2000, 387 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1156 times:


Granted the adobe is 'faux', but it's a beuatiful, modern airport, most certainly in a style unmistakably New Mexican!

User currently offlineLax2000 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 541 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1156 times:

My favorite is the JFK-TWA Terminal

User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3010 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 1141 times:

A great book about all this is: "Building for Air Travel." Lots of pictures of world airports, large and small.

14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineBlink182 From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 1999, 5476 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week ago) and read 1113 times:

If you want "open" terminals, go to modern Asian airports! My vote goes to Vancouver International terminal. No one could blend modern archeteture with ancient architecture together better than them. On your way to customs. Also, it is like a mini museum, a fascinating terminal indeed. I won't tell because you should see it for your self.

Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineSlawko From Canada, joined May 1999, 3799 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (13 years 3 months 1 week ago) and read 1107 times:

I have an example of one, but I can't find the picture right now....it is the Lviv International airport in Western Ukraine. It looks very much like the first picture in the first post but a bit bigger...It has been amazingly restored, some modern additions have been made inside, but from the outside it looks like an old train station.

"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
User currently offlineBrissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (13 years 3 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1094 times:

Here is the photo of Lviv (Lvov) Airport. And you are right....it is a lot bigger, and more grandiose than Sochi Airport.

User currently offlineN960AS From Switzerland, joined Apr 2000, 466 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (13 years 3 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1077 times:

I have to agree with JFK T5. The terminal is so cool and still looks modern, even if it was built in the '60's. It doesn't cater to jets too well and TW hasn't taken the best care of it but it is still a great terminal. Walking to the satelites in that 'tube' if you will is really a neat experience. The lobby is soaring and has good views too. The terminal is one of Saarinen's masterpieces and is perserved as a monument (landmark?) so it will always be there.


25 Vngd4me : I am suprized that no one has even mentioned Denver (DEN- Jeppesen Terminal). It is a really cool airport that blends in with its mountain surrounding
26 Post contains links and images Vadheim : Oslo Airport - Gardermoen (OSL) New modern and clean! Click for large versionPhoto © J Gregory Quinn Click for large versionPhoto © Jan Hara
27 Post contains links Lewis : Visit http://www.athensairport-2001.gr The new athens airport, although not big is beautiful. It will be the newest in europe and will feature the lat
28 Crjmech : As I clicked on this topic and was waiting for the pics in the first post to load, I thought to myself "I wonder if anyone will mention SBA". Sure eno
29 Chrisrad : How about the new Kuala Lumpur Airport, KLIA in Malaysia, beautiful open design, never feels crowded!
30 WorldVoyager : Vancouver Intl - Although it's not as big and modern as Hong Kong CLK, for example, it is much more beautiful, as the interior decorating is amazing!
31 Post contains links and images QantasA330 : Denver Anyone??? Denver's terminal is (I think) by far the most beautiful in the world. Not concrete and not too much glass, and nothing in between. I
32 Flightboy24 : I must say I paid my first visit to the UA terminal at DEN last year, and was impressed...
33 CactusA319 : Even though I don't care for UA, I must say their ORD Terminal 1 is a work of art. When I go there I prefer admiring the terminals beautiful architec
34 Watewate : T1 @ JFK is quite nice also. Love the way the ticket counters are laid out upstairs. Also, nice view from their food court.
35 Toxtethogrady : Even after all these years. But then I'm biased......
36 Trvlr : The CDG T2 check-in, plus the gate area for non-AF planes, is total crap, but the rest is very very cool. Hong Kong is by far the most beautiful airpo
37 Victor Hotel : Brisbane International fairly modern looking with lots of glass and indoor plants, it is very small though, and is usually pretty quick through custom
38 GKirk : I thought Palma de Mallorca terminal was impressive as is the international terminal at NCL and T2 at MAN. STN is also impressive
39 Krisair747 : Singapore's Changi is absolutly wonderful! It has a botanical garden on the upper level of the international terminal, as well as a pool! Its spacious
40 Redraider : Lubbock, Texas is a gem!
41 Maiznblu_757 : Traverse City Cherry Capital (TVC) is building a new terminal. You can see the photos at www.tvcairport.com. I think its going to be one of the most b
42 Post contains links and images BH346 : Kansai Click for large versionPhoto © Piotr Pluciennik Click for large versionPhoto © Kazutaka Yagi Also, Okinawa/Naha and Miyakojima(Escpec
43 Picarus : I think a cliche states it best..."beauty lies in the eye of the beholder."
44 Chepos : I like MCO in Orlando.
45 Ben : Yes Slawko! It's great I agree. LWO is the finest I have seen in all my world travels. Thanks for the pic, Scotty, but that one just doesn't do the de
46 Post contains links and images LH423 : I think Vancouver is an excellent example. A modern terminal reflecting the native people of British Columbia. Click for large versionPhoto © Mat
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