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Ps762
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Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 1:01 am

Hi,

Firstly apologies for starting another poll thread and also if it has been asked many times or should be deleted or moved to aviation hobby maybe.

But anyway my question I guess is more to do with airport terminal architecture and ones that people have seen that really did stand out in their opinion? Of course being an aviation enthusiast there are few terminals I never liked and some like London Stansted I really like in terms of space and they are well-regarded too but I wouldn't say were out-there too much.

But I guess for this if curious I might start with 3 I have seen but any more suggestions are welcome (and they don't have to be liked necessarily?).

So I guess in no particular order:

1. Nice Cote D'Azur Terminal 2. For me it looks kinda unique from the outside glass and almost circular and inverted and when inside for me it only got better really. I never to be honest I don't think flew in or out of it but really quite a memorable modern French-style?

2. Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 1 or 2 maybe. Apologies for kinda forgetting which one but in 2006 I spent maybe a week near CDG and would visit quite a lot. I can honestly say if there was one airport I actually didn't like this might be it. And the terminal I was thinking of was like a 60's style concrete donut in a way with escalators within the donut itself? Lots of interesting architecture but to be honest it all made for me a quite oppressive feeling. Almost making me feel ill sometimes sorry.

3. And finally Berlin Tempelhof which I saw from the outside in maybe 2009. Obviously I don't want to try and get into politics or history but I had seen some architecture from that era like the submarine base at St. Nazaire and I went to Olypic Stadium too in Berlin but the sheer size and mass of Tempelhof even by today's standards and from the outside was something almost from a different World.

Anyway apologies again I probably wasn't too clear on all that but any thoughts are welcome. Anything that stands out from anywhere to people in either a good or bad or even indifferent way?

With many thanks again,

Ps762
 
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PITingres
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 3:38 am

I honestly can't think of any terminals that made me say "wow this is amazing." SIN might come closest, thanks to sheer scale. USH was interesting, however I suspect that it was more the location than the terminal itself.

The Pan Am Worldport at JFK was pretty unique. Unfortunately by the time I saw it, it was a unique dump.
 
classicjets
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 7:13 am

The old terminal in Abu Dhabi (AUH) is unique (its ceiling anyway), not modern or terribly beautiful, but surely unique.


Kona (KOA) and Honolulu (HNL) are unique for their use of outdoor space and garden areas providing the island feeling.


And Daocheng (DCY) has a unique external terminal architecture reminiscent of a UFO.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 9:14 am

One really unique terminal is at Boa Vista (BVC). As far as I know, it's the only outdoor terminal in the world.

Image

Image

Image

A truly unique design, never seen anything like it.
 
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BoeingERJ1000
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 12:35 pm

I agree with the above, and I'd like to add the Jeppesen terminal at DEN.
 
BuildingMyBento
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 1:09 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
One really unique terminal is at Boa Vista (BVC). As far as I know, it's the only outdoor terminal in the world.

Image

Image

Image

A truly unique design, never seen anything like it.


Isn't Koh Samui a hybrid indoor-outdoor airport?
 
bfitzflyer
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 1:12 pm

BuildingMyBento wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:
One really unique terminal is at Boa Vista (BVC). As far as I know, it's the only outdoor terminal in the world.

Image

Image

Image

A truly unique design, never seen anything like it.


Isn't Koh Samui a hybrid indoor-outdoor airport?


Yes Koh Samui is indoor-outdoor.
 
bfitzflyer
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 1:25 pm

Ones that come to mind for me are:

CDG - Terminal 1 is so what the 60's thought the future would be and 2F is interesting, who can forget the U2 Video filmed there.
DEN - Once inside, nothing special and typical of today, however the roofline of the main terminal meant to mimic the Rockies is awesome.
TPA/MCO - Grouping these together as pretty much the same concept. MCO copied TPA which is older, but the people movers to the gate concourses are different from what you usually see, particularly when
TPA opened.
DFW - The horseshoes on A,B, C, D are something different and not typical anymore.
LAX - The theme building in the middle
MAD - Terminal 4, although it is similar to ATL/DEN in the sense of one long straight pier, the architecture is stunning with the unique roofline.
 
CrookedBill
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 2:03 pm

I always considered PUJ to be unique with it's reet roofs. It really suits the place, very tropical. Indoors, the green plates above the pillars make you feel like you're walking through a forest.

CEB also looks unique but I've never been there, I've only seen pics. The structure is entirely made of wood which gives it a very rustic look.
 
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STT757
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 3:10 pm

Honolulu with its' open air sections, gardens and wiki wiki trolley on the roof.
 
portcolumbus
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 3:47 pm

Not really unique but I loved the feel of Burbank's old terminal (was it replaced?)
 
SoCalPilot
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 8:22 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
One really unique terminal is at Boa Vista (BVC). As far as I know, it's the only outdoor terminal in the world.

A truly unique design, never seen anything like it.

Kona (KOA) is outdoors.
 
Wneast
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 22, 2022 8:40 pm

LIH
 
blandy62
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 1:12 am

two come to my mind:

CDG T1
AUH T1
 
Ps762
Topic Author
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 4:37 am

Hi (again thanks!),

So just to quickly if possible say many thanks for all the replies. Lots of ideas and a couple of the terminals mentioned I have been too but not many so hopefully lots of stuff for me to look up on Wikipedia over the next week maybe.

Also if possible just maybe a few small points in response:

1. Many thanks I guess that crazy concrete circular place at CDG was terminal 1. And I will try to have a look for the mentioned U2 video maybe I kind of remember it but not sure.

2. I think mentioned also was Madrid Barajas(?) terminal 4. This definitely rang a bell for me although I have never visited in person. But still I remember reading a magazine article on it when it first opened maybe and I was thinking quite different (although maybe not exactly for me with the yellow?).

3. And finally I just wanted to mention another one I never visited apart from in playing Microsoft Flight Simulator. Palm Springs airport in the USA used to look pretty amazing to me in that sim with the tent-like structure outside. Or maybe it was just the great freeware scenery package that was available for it at the time but it would be interesting to hear if anyone has been there for real.

Anyway better leave it there I guess but with many thanks again as always,

Ps762
 
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ehbowen
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 4:47 am

I'm thinking of the original design of IAH; I'm old enough to remember it personally and I studied it (from the clipping file in the library) a few years later while in high school. It was one of the pioneering examples of the "unit terminal concept", designed to minimize walking distances. You could drive in, park on the rooftop levels, take the elevator to the ticketing level and check in, then a (relatively) short walk to the "Flight Station" and you were there. Arriving, you walk from the flight station to the central terminal building, take the escalator down one level, you're right at baggage claim and then take the elevator up to your car. Taking ground transportation? Private autos one side, taxi/limos out another, rental cars out a third. A second cousin (George 'Corky' Cole, grandmother's nephew) who was a passenger agent for Delta in St. Louis raved about it at the time as "the best laid out airport in the country."

Unfortunately, it wasn't designed with TSA in mind. At first the metal detectors weren't too intrusive; you could travel to and from the flight stations and main building without a lot of hassle. But the screws kept tightening, and tightening... Then, it took much much too long to bring Terminal C on-line and the years operating far above design capacity were not kind from a passenger satisfaction standpoint. The consolidated International Arrivals Building (now Terminal D) likewise took too long and, at least at first, was confusing to passengers not used to shared gates. [Fun fact: The original plans called for Customs and international arrivals to be handled by a single five-gate flight station on the north side of...wait for it...the airport hotel!]

I'm allergic to TSA; I haven't flown out of Intercontinental (actually, haven't flown period!) since 2014...and that was an arrival following a long-distance train ride out to Montana. Think I'll stay safely on the ground until equipment (MAX) and personnel (the epidemic of 'died suddenly') issues have worked their way out of the system.
 
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eastafspot
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 11:48 am

Bujumbura airport (BJM), Burundi.

Passenger side consists of 4 traditionnal houses (= rugos in Kirundi). One house for arrival passengers, one house for departing passengers, and middle one is landside shops and airlines offices.
It's not closed at all (no windows) and no air/con

 
Yflyer
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 4:22 pm

I don't recall anything particularly interesting about the actual architecture at TLL, but I enjoyed the way the inside of the terminal was decorated. At least when I was there in 2014, the seats were all covered with fun, colorful patterns rather than the usual boring black or gray airport seats. And each gate had a different theme. The seats at my gate had a striped rainbow pattern on them.
 
phugoid1982
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 4:36 pm

Funny enough, both of mine are designed by renowned Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. The TWA terminal at JFK and the main terminal at Dulles airport. They both have an old school charm.
 
ZKCIF
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 4:57 pm

Enrique Olaya Herrera in Medellin is an amazing design.
In terms of decoration, the fire extinguisher-based art at Jakarta CGK terminal three
 
Chemist
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 6:32 pm

Burbank - oldest commercial air terminal still in use in the US; ground level, no jetways, big windows
Denver - Landside teflon roof
Taipei - every gate has a different themed decor
Detroit - cool airport train visible above you
 
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eta unknown
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Mon May 23, 2022 9:23 pm

CDG terminal 1 "the donut"... Also features as the basis for the Alan Parsons Project "I Robot" album cover.
TWA JFK terminal.
HNL just for the open air areas.
AUH Terminal 1... The design represents peacock feathers.
CGK Terminal 2- a nice concept with individual houses, but an awful experience.
SIN terminal 1 when it opened in the early 80's- wonderful!
 
fessor
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Thu May 26, 2022 1:41 am

For me Singapore is unike it has carpets many places and the relaxing areas.

In Thailand Sukhothai THS comes to mind
 
BuildingMyBento
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Thu May 26, 2022 4:43 am

I used to look forward to flying out of Jakarta CGK for its vernacular architecture (T1 and T2 anyway).

IIRC, Baku GYD was nifty, and I always liked checking out the flipboard FIDS at FRA.
 
IADCA
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Thu May 26, 2022 9:57 pm

phugoid1982 wrote:
Funny enough, both of mine are designed by renowned Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. The TWA terminal at JFK and the main terminal at Dulles airport. They both have an old school charm.


Dulles is an interesting one on a thread about "unique," as Terminal 1 at TPE originally looked like this (yes, it was almost a copy of IAD):

Image
 
afcjets
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Thu May 26, 2022 11:48 pm

bfitzflyer wrote:
TPA/MCO - Grouping these together as pretty much the same concept. MCO copied TPA which is older, but the people movers to the gate concourses are different from what you usually see, particularly when
TPA opened.


TPA was more special though because each airside was totally different, whereas they're pretty much all clones at MCO. One of the airsides at TPA had the boarding gates on an upper level equivalent to a third floor, where you had to take an escalator down to the jetway. I never understood the purpose of that but it was cool. I am actually sad that most if not all of the airsides have been torn down and rebuilt. I also like how both airports have a Marriott or Hyatt inside the terminals. As a teenager who forced a connection there to visit the airport in the 1987 for the first time I laid out by the pool and watched the planes take off and land while getting a tan in February. It was a very fun day, especially since it was on a school day! I also got to tour the all leather cabin (uncommon back then) of a Transtar Super 80 that was a flight cancelled due to a maintenance issue. I had never heard of Transtar before and couldn't help but notice the dark purple jets.
 
Fiend
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Fri May 27, 2022 5:22 pm

In Thailand Sukhothai THS comes to mind


THS is definitely a unique airport. Where else in the world can you sit in the departure area and watch the giraffes in the airport zoo???
 
tootallsd
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Fri May 27, 2022 11:57 pm

Palm Springs is my home airport. There are two terminal buildings. One, accommodating mainline aircraft with jetbridges, is called the Sonny Bobo Terminal in honor of the city's one-time mayor. This building is relatively remarkable. The hold areas are not fully open to the outside but there the lobby is covered by a fabric tent. You then turn to the main terminal building and ahead of you is Mt San Jacinto a 10,834 peak that basically starts at the edge of downtown to the west of the airport. The main terminal building was just afforded historic status as it is a fine example of desert mid century modern architecture. The second terminal is a box for regional jets. It shares the main terminal ticketing, security and other facilities.
 
BuildingMyBento
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sat May 28, 2022 1:02 am

Fiend wrote:
In Thailand Sukhothai THS comes to mind


THS is definitely a unique airport. Where else in the world can you sit in the departure area and watch the giraffes in the airport zoo???


Then there's Bangkok DMK with the golf course en situ.
 
Fuling
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sat May 28, 2022 11:27 am

Santa Barbara (SBA) has pretty unique architecture. I also enjoyed Beijing Capital T3 for the ceiling and wide spaces.
 
CairnterriAIR
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 29, 2022 3:48 am

Vail Colorado…Eagle County Regional Airport…EGE.
I love the ski lodge feel of the terminal.

St. Thomas …Cyril E. King International Airport …STT.
Open air…nothing beats deplaning down roll up stairs, walking across the tarmac to the terminal and be greeted by a steel drum band and being handed samples of booze! Visit soon as I hear the new terminal will be a traditional jetway airport.
 
Ps762
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 29, 2022 5:18 am

Hi (again thanks),

Just quickly as the thread starter again many thanks again for all the ideas and info again and stuff. Definitely some things I do remember but lots of new stuff for me to look up too so many thanks again.

Also as an aside and sorry a little off-topic but I think Frankfurt's old-style flip flight information board was maybe mentioned. It kind of made me remember how those do stand out for me too. Although not architecture as such maybe and not maybe flipboards exactly too I seem to remember seeing one in Zurich Kloten and also Dublin terminal 1 maybe ten years ago and thinking they stood out (I guess in a nice way for me and my retro taste!).

Anyway just really to say many thanks again,

Ps762
 
BuildingMyBento
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 29, 2022 1:29 pm

Ps762 wrote:
Hi (again thanks),

Just quickly as the thread starter again many thanks again for all the ideas and info again and stuff. Definitely some things I do remember but lots of new stuff for me to look up too so many thanks again.

Also as an aside and sorry a little off-topic but I think Frankfurt's old-style flip flight information board was maybe mentioned. It kind of made me remember how those do stand out for me too. Although not architecture as such maybe and not maybe flipboards exactly too I seem to remember seeing one in Zurich Kloten and also Dublin terminal 1 maybe ten years ago and thinking they stood out (I guess in a nice way for me and my retro taste!).

Anyway just really to say many thanks again,

Ps762


I mentioned FRA's flipboard. The first time I saw it was in 2004; coming from the states, I thought it was cool to see flights going just about everywhere outside of the Caribbean and the South Pacific. To connect from Windhoek to Tehran, now they're onto something!

And seeing as Namibia was once a German colony, have there ever been charters to other Namibian cities, say Walvis Bay?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 29, 2022 2:56 pm

phugoid1982 wrote:
Funny enough, both of mine are designed by renowned Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. The TWA terminal at JFK and the main terminal at Dulles airport. They both have an old school charm.


KIAD used to be beautiful, almost park-like. Then, they made a hash of it.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sun May 29, 2022 3:22 pm

Hilo (ITO) is a unique indoor-outdoor terminal. Such a peaceful and relaxing place!

Fort Smith, AR, (FSM) has individual chairs for departing passengers, not the row seats, so typical in other airports. And award-winning bathrooms, too!

I LOVE the tunnel at ORD for United...that colorful lights just added brightness to what could otherwise just be a long and drab walkway between gates.

And there's TWA at JFK...need anyone say more?
 
dfw88
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:42 am

One of my favorites is Bozeman, Montana (BZN). The whole place it built to look like an enormous log cabin. It feels more like a lodge than an airport.
 
luckyone
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:50 pm

BGI has an indoor/outdoor component. The check-in and food court are outdoors. Post security is all indoors.
 
JDub
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:40 pm

Memphis had the shortest jetways for the NWA DC9's thought that was unique, think you can still see them on Google maps though they are no longer in use.
 
TexasAirCorp
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Tue Jun 07, 2022 1:51 am

dfw88 wrote:
One of my favorites is Bozeman, Montana (BZN). The whole place it built to look like an enormous log cabin. It feels more like a lodge than an airport.

Was waiting for someone to mention this!

Would also like to add Saranac Lake Airport. Feels like you’re waiting for a flight in a ski chalet. Jakarta Airport T1 is another one, a bizarre collection of corridors and covered walkways. Place is like a maze.

Not sure why this has come to mind, but Krakow Airport too. Passed through once and couldn’t figure out why the check in area is about six times the size of the departure lounge.
 
ncflyer
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Wed Jun 08, 2022 12:22 pm

Second the nomination of Detroit, it never gets old with me. Simplicity, clean, tons of natural light, the train up above adds something.
 
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BoeingERJ1000
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Fri Jun 10, 2022 9:26 pm

MAD Terminal 4. The curved shape of the roof is very original.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Airport Terminals that you really thought were unique?

Sat Jun 11, 2022 8:19 pm

Fuling wrote:
Santa Barbara (SBA) has pretty unique architecture.


Well, it did. The newer terminal does try to honor the missionary style of architecture common to the area, which is nice, but the actual departure areas are pretty generic.

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