The airport has a highly efficient passive design, which has been inspired by local traditions, and is based on a flexible modular solution that allows for future expansion – the new building secures the city’s position as the main hub for the Levant region and allows the airport to grow by 6 per cent per annum for the next twenty-five years, increasing capacity from 3.5 million to 12 million passengers per annum by 2030..
The concept of the plan for Terminal 3 of Shenzen Bao’an international airport evokes the image of a manta ray, a fish that breathes and changes its own shape, undergoes variations, turns into a bird to celebrate the emotion and fantasy of a flight. The structure of T3 - an approximately 1,5-km-long tunnel – seems to be modeled by the wind and is reminiscent of the image of an organic-shaped sculpture. The profile of the roofing is characterized by variations in height alluding to the natural landscape. The symbolic element of the plan is the internal and external double “skin” honeycomb motif that wraps up the structure. Through its double-layering, the “skin” allows natural light in, thus creating light effects within the internal spaces. The cladding is made of alveolus-shaped metal and glass panels of different size that can be partially opened. The passengers accede to the terminal from the entrance situated under the large T3 “tail”. The wide terminal bay is characterized by white conical supporting columns rising up to touch the roofing like the inside of a cathedral. On the ground floor, the terminal square allows access to the luggage, departures and arrivals areas as well as coffee houses and restaurants, offices and business facilities. The departures room houses the check-in desks, the airlines info-points and several help-desks. The double and triple height spaces of the departures room establish a visual connection between the internal levels and create a passage for natural light. After checking in, the national and international passengers’ flows spread out vertically for departures. The concourse is the airport key-area and is made up of three levels. Each level is dedicated to three independent functions: departures, arrivals and services. Its tubular shape chases the idea of motion. The “cross” is the intersection point where the 3 levels of the concourse are vertically connected to create full-height voids which allow natural light to filter from the highest level down to the waiting room set in the node on level 0. The honeycomb motif is transferred and replicated on the interior design. Shop boxes, facing one another, reproduce the alveolus design on a larger scale and recur in different articulations along the concourse. The interiors designed by Fuksas – placed in the internet-point, check-in, security-check, gates and passport-check areas – have a sober profile and a stainless steel finish that reflects and multiplies the honeycomb motif of the internal “skin”. Sculpture–shaped objects - big stylised white trees - have been designed for air conditioning all along the terminal and the concourse, replicating the planning of amorphous forms inspired by nature. This is also the case for the baggage-claim and info-point “islands”..
Kutaisi International Airport serves domestic and international flights for use by tourists, national politicians and international diplomats. The airport will become a central hub, with up to one million travellers targeted in 2014-2015, celebrating a leisure or activity holiday anywhere in the ever more popular destination of Georgia. UNStudio’s design for the new airport incorporates both Georgia’s historic landscape and its architecture. In Georgia public buildings and private houses employ their entrance lobbies as showcases for their individual identities. In the design for the new airport UNStudio embraces this architectural concept in order to manifest Georgia’s young and dynamic democracy, along with its rapid development as a main crossing point in the region. Georgia is located on a crossroads of rich cultures, with a history of travellers passing through the Caucasus or arriving from the Black Sea. UNStudio’s design comprises the full airport development, including a revision of the runway, the master plan for the landscape and planned future development thereof, the terminal building, offices, a meteorological station and the air traffic control tower. Regulations for the airport were strict and comprised of a mix of European and Georgian standards, including earthquake zoning 8 requirements. The project was designed and constructed in two years, under lead consultancy of UNStudio, with the airport already having begun operations by September 2012. Both design and construction saw the involvement of numerous local and international companies, with openness and knowledge sharing proving to be essential to fulfilling the tight schedule. The steel structure of the terminal - produced and shipped from Hungary - recently won a European steel prize award. Actual figures of the airport show 30 flights per week increasing in spring 2014 to 40, by which time direct flights from Western Europe to Kutaisi will also be possible. The architecture of the terminal refers to a gateway, in which a clear structural layout creates an all-encompassing and protective volume. Both the exterior corner detail – which functions as a crossing-point and point of recognition - and the so called umbrella structure within the terminal building – which operates as a roundabout for passenger flows - operate as the two main architectural details around which all of the airport functions are organised. The umbrella further guarantees views from the terminal plaza to the apron and to the Caucasus on the horizon and vice versa. The central point in the umbrella is an exterior patio which is used for departing passengers. The transparent space around this central area is designed to ensure that flows of passengers are smooth and that departure and arrival flows do not coincide. The design organises the logistical processes, provides optimal security and ensures that the traveller has sufficient space to circulate comfortably. Serving as a lobby to Georgia, the terminal will in addition operate as a café and art gallery, displaying works by young Georgian artists and thereby presenting a further identifier of contemporary Georgian culture..