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VirginFlyer
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Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:32 am

In a recent thread ( Worlds Oldest Airports (by NZ8800 Jun 8 2009 in Civil Aviation) ), we learned that El Paso Airport's original terminal from the 1930s still stands as part of the current terminal.


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I'm interested in how many more of these architectural gems there are at airports today. It is notoriously difficult to retain heritage buildings at airports due to operational pressures, but I'd be surprised if there aren't a fair few of these old buildings which have survived. Just to be clear, I'm not after modern terminals which are architecturally brilliant, but rather older buildings from before the age of the jumbo jets that still stand at a modern airport.

One I know well is SYD, where a 1940s era building which served as a terminal, offices and the second control tower, still stands in the domestic terminal precinct. The building is heritage protected, and noted as such on the airport's master plan, but it is in the way of the intended connection between T2 and T3, so its future is not assured.


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In the left hand picture, it is behind the left hand Dash 8, and in the right hand picture it is ahead of the Qantas 767, underneath the Qantas sign.

Similar buildings were built at Archerfield (Brisbane) and Parafield (Adelaide) and still stand today:

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Photo © Julian Adams



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Of course, I don't think this subject would be complete without mention of the TWA Flight Center at JFK


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What other architectural gems are out there at the world's airports?

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[Edited 2009-06-13 20:39:47]
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m11stephen
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:10 am

The Pan Am world port (T3) at JFK is a unique design. It better not be torn down!
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masseybrown
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:44 am

Washington's Dulles Airport, as originally built and before all the ho-hum stuff grew up around it, was beautifully proportioned and astonishingly good looking as seen from the access road coming over the last hill from town.
 
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Dalavia
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:52 am

Several Russian airports have some wonderfully preserved Soviet-era buildings included among more modern extensions.

One great example is Yekaterinburg:


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Another example, which although not quite as spectacular as Yekaterinburg, is Khabarovsk:


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The building in the background above has an amazing interior, with the ceiling being decorated on a recurring theme of hammers, sickles and stars.
 
cloudyapple
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:11 am

Berlin Tempelhof is unique. Where else has a canopy over a large expanse of apron?


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fxramper
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:22 am



Quoting VirginFlyer (Thread starter):

What other architectural gems are out there at the world's airports?

Let's not limit the architectural genius to buildings alone:





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linglesou
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:56 am

What about Sochi - Adler?



[Edited 2009-06-14 01:57:47]
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greenjet
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:51 am

The old terminal at DUB is a listed building and sits between Piers A and D.


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BestWestern
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:46 am

The Marine Air Terminal in LGA is fantastic

The Ekaterinburg example above is now used as the VIP terminal.

The DUB old terminal still has in service gates - and is fantastically restored.
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teneriffe77
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:42 pm

I believe ABQ's original terminal still exists and parts of CLT's old terminal are in use.
 
RoyalAirMaroc
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:22 pm

Marrakech's new terminal is unique. I don't think there is a design similar to it ?


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[Edited 2009-06-14 13:25:41]
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dangould2000
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:33 pm

i think Prestwick deserves a mention.

Though the 1930s terminal is long gone, the main terminal as seen below was built in the early 1960s and opened by the queen's mother in 1964


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Though it has received a £3 Million interior makeover, the exterior remains the way it was in the 60s


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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:55 pm

BIO (Bilbao) in Spain is a masterpiece of art, designed by Calatrava. Also the inside of the terminal is of wonderful architecture, with beautiful lines and crystal clear glass (you won't notice any reflections).


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andaman
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:17 am



Quoting VirginFlyer (Thread starter):
Of course, I don't think this subject would be complete without mention of the TWA Flight Center at JFK


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Both the TWA Flight Center and the Dulles terminal are designed by a Finnish architect Eero Saarinen.
Outside the airport terminals, his most famous work in US probably is the Gateway Arch in St Louis.
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:07 am



Quoting Royalairmaroc (Reply 10):
Marrakech's new terminal is unique. I don't think there is a design similar to it ?



Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 12):
BIO (Bilbao) in Spain is a masterpiece of art, designed by Calatrava. Also the inside of the terminal is of wonderful architecture, with beautiful lines and crystal clear glass (you won't notice any reflections).

Thanks for those, but like I said at the beginning, I'm not really talking about new structures which are architectural masterpieces, but rather older structures that have survived as part of a modern airport:

Quoting VirginFlyer (Thread starter):
Just to be clear, I'm not after modern terminals which are architecturally brilliant, but rather older buildings from before the age of the jumbo jets that still stand at a modern airport.

Maybe I should be a bit more specific - lets say structures which were built prior to 1965 (when the 747 project began).

Quoting M11Stephen (Reply 1):
The Pan Am world port (T3) at JFK is a unique design

Ah yes, another of the early terminals to have survived to the present as part of a larger complex.


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It's a shame the famous stained glass installation from AA's original 1960 T8 hasn't survived.


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While we're at JFK, we should also include T2. While it isn't as spectacular as the others, it has been in use since 1962 (and from what I read here shows plenty of evidence of it).


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Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 4):
Berlin Tempelhof is unique.

You're certainly right - I think it is a terrible shame that it has been closed.

Quoting FXramper (Reply 5):
Let's not limit the architectural genius to buildings alone:

Where is that statue, and what is its significance?

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 8):
The Marine Air Terminal in LGA is fantastic

You know, almost as soon as I posted this thread I thought about LGA. Another great example of an old building which has remained in use (right at the bottom right of the recent photo):


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Photo © Mark Lawrence-NYC Aviation



Actually just looking, LGA's Central Terminal Building is relatively old, opening in 1964 with that unique tower.


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PITingres
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:34 am



Quoting VirginFlyer (Reply 14):

Quoting FXramper (Reply 5):
Let's not limit the architectural genius to buildings alone:

Where is that statue, and what is its significance?

John Wayne's statue at SNA.
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:26 pm

I'm a bit surprised no one has mentioned the Theme Building at LAX, built 1961.


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Over the last few years it has been undergoing a complete refurbishment.
 
Yflyer
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:36 pm



Quoting Teneriffe77 (Reply 9):
parts of CLT's old terminal are in use.

It's in use as office space or maybe a cargo building or something, but not as a terminal. The current terminal at CLT dates from the early 1980s.

I know "midcentury modern" architecture usually doesn't get much love, but I'm kind of a fan. Good examples of that type of architecture in airport terminals would be DAL (particularly before it got it's "face lift" in the 1980s), and even (I know I'll probably get a lot of disagreement here) the Smith Terminal at DTW. The aformentioned old CLT terminal would be an example as well.
 
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RE: Architectural Gems At Airports

Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:04 pm

The original art deco terminal building (including control tower) at Liverpool dates from the late 1930s and is a protected historic building. It was left derelict for about a decade after the new terminal opened in the 1980s until it was restored and converted to a hotel in the late 1990s (originally a Marriott, now a Crowne Plaza).


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