Airports with architectural appeal

By | Category: Travel destinations

Airports like many other buildings – are presumed to be functional in their design rather than artistic. But that doesn’t mean to say that they shouldn’t be striking and become significant architectural edifices.

T2 arrivals at Helsinki Airport showing the Luoto area. Image Finavia

Take the Zaha Hadid designed terminal at Beijing Daxing International Airport – which opened in 2019 – is a case in point. This striking design instinctively makes you look at the ceiling and the distance to see the way the internal architecture takes your eye along the inner shell of the terminal.

The same may happen when Finavia opens the “new” terminal at Helsinki airport next month. Yes, there has been a terminal two before but this makeover is so substantial that you could consider it new.”

Over two years in construction, the new entrance to the airport and its wooden ceiling looks impressive and different to the fairly bog standard design that airports seem to have.

The unique wooden ceiling completely revamps the facade of Helsinki Airport. One of the inspirations for the wavy form of the ceiling was Tapio Wirkkala’s Ultima Thule sculpture that is made of aircraft plywood.

The entrance to T2. Image -Finavia

 The Finnish style is key to the whole new creation with a claimed domestic content of 90% of the entire structure.

Luoto, a nature-themed stone arrangement greeting arriving passengers, also breathes Finnishness. The stone arrangement brings Finnish nature and archipelago spirit to the heart of a busy terminal. The word “luoto” means stone but maybe it also relates to a small town with the same name which is forever linked to one of the first attempts at Finnish independence from what was then called Russia over a hundred years ago.

In linking Finnishness to an airport terminal, Finavia seem to have come up with a design that could attract people just to look at the architecture.

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