I’m currently sitting at Gatwick airport and have loads of time to spare. On my wonders around through transit I just thought how old and cramped it is!
Find a seat or place to eat? Simples!
The only quiet space I’ve found is next to building work outside and the floor is shaking. I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled loads and been at more airports per year than some of my friends in their entire life. I realize most people find them architecturally boring, but I don’t think that has to be the case. For example the Skybridge. It gives you such a marvellous view over the airport that I skipped the escalators and just slowly wandered over.
A quick google search gives you loads of list and pictures of great modern design. Dubai, Marrakech, Beijing, Madrid just to name a few. Personally I admire the sleek and efficient design of Frankfurt airport with its relaxation lounges for all passengers with comfy armchairs, wifi and a great view! Free coffee machines at the Lufthansa gates make the flight even more bearable.
The question is do airports have to be modern design? Statistically passenger numbers have vastly increased and Gatwick is proud of having 35 Million passengers! Additionally security has had to be increased and baggage handling has become more complex just to name a few factors. So old airports just haven’t been able to handle the increased demand and new terminals have been commissioned.
Berlin Tempelhof and Paris Le Bourget are two pre World War 2 airports that have no ceased to exist and been replaced. It is a shame because wandering through those two airports gives you an insight into when flying was both pioneering and extremely exclusive.
Concluding I think choosing airports as beautiful buildings is not a clear one at first sight, but a look back in history shows how fantastic buildings used to be and still are! It might not be great architecture at first sight as functionality is the main design reason, but there are some great marvels out there.
Time to relax at Frankfurt