Next Generation Airport: Grimshaw Architects

I recently came across an article in the NY TImes Magazine .  The article describes the architectural organization of the airport and raises some key ideas pertaining to the efficiency’s of an airport.  What is interesting is how one day, we may be able to fly without much delay……maybe, but I will still not fly Delta.

For most of the 20th century, airports were designed to connect two modes of transport: the automobile and the aircraft. But as global air travel expanded, that seemingly simple function resulted in ever-larger and more complex airports. Most hub airports are now plagued by air-traffic congestion, inconvenient parking, crowded check-in halls and undignified security procedures.


The Next Generation Airport is a superhub constructed offshore on a man-made island. All check-in and ticketing is carried out online. Smart-bag tags embedded with radio-frequency identification chips allow luggage to be conveyed directly from bag drops to the plane with no manual handling, lowering the risk of lost baggage. At city rail stations, passengers will go through a security portal before boarding an undersea high-speed train to the airport. The airport is designed like a wheel: at the center is the control tower, rising above a central hub encircled by airport and airline offices and topped by gardens; the outside rim houses the terminals, which are connected to the central hub by spokes — thin, glazed concourses with moving walkways. The trains from the city circle the outside rim, making stops at each terminal; a monorail links passengers to different terminals to meet connecting flights. Because the airport is on the water, runways with various orientations allow for takeoffs and landings to be adjusted according to flight paths and prevailing winds. And with no adjacent residential areas to be disturbed, the airport can comfortably operate 24 hours a day.
Sign in to Recommend Next Article in Magazine (17 of 21) » A version of this article appeared in print on June 14, 2009, on page MM35 of the New York edition.

Architects: Grimshaw Architects


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