Type to search


Global design competition offers glimpse of the airport of the future


It is time to take a look at the possible airports of tomorrow courtesy of Fentress Architects’ 2020 Fentress Global Challenge (FGC).

Fentress today announced the 22 entries that have been shortlisted in its annual airport design competition, which this year garnered more than 100 entries from students in over 15 countries.

This year’s competition challenged students to envision airport mobility in the year 2100.

“Each year I am ever more impressed by the vision, creativity, and practicality set forth by these young architects,” enthuses Curtis Fentress, principal in charge of design at Fentress Architects.

“This year’s shortlist couldn’t be more diverse; they range from a modular floating terminal to a self-growing airport integrated into the site’s ecosystem. Each concept pioneers creativity, advances innovation and recognises real solutions that would enhance the passenger experience of 2100.”

Of the over 100 entries judged last month by a panel of architects and designers at Fentress Architects, most explored one of the following areas: Futuristic Mobility, Mitigation of COVID-19 and Zero-Emission.

Futuristic Mobility

Flying air pods carry passengers and their baggage to and from their home. Team: CGC, HK22, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Several submissions built upon recent developments in futuristic transportation—from the Hyperloop to autonomous vehicles—to imagine the airport of the future as a multimodal hub equipped to handle next-generation aircraft, space travel, autonomous transportation, integration of the hyperloop, and even autonomous pods.

Concepts ranged from terminals with launchpads for spaceflight and underground Hyperloop connections to the replacement of aircraft with self-flying autonomous pods.
Mitigation of COVID-19

This concept reimagines Heathrow International Airport as a “healing hub” that monitors and treats disease carriers. Team: S.T., Heathrow Healing Hub, Tel-Aviv University.

The current pandemic inspired a wide range of ideas on how airport design might help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, which may be more prevalent in 2100.

Fully touchless airports as well as terminals that have dual functions as “healing hubs” were among the concepts that sought to create health-centric, comfortable, and efficient travel experiences.

Zero-Emission Airports

The Green Gateway transforms Indira Gandhi International Airport into a zero-mission, sustainable airport. Team: BANIYA, The Green Gateway, Southern California Institute of Architecture.

A number of submissions utilised cutting-edge solutions as a means to develop zero-emission airport facilities. Among the forward-thinking ideas submitted were airports that integrate with the surrounding ecosystem; terminals reimagined as greenhouses; and decentralised air purifying towers.

Also on the 2020 shortlist is this ‘Floating Aero City’ design by  W.A.D, Floating Aero City, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China.

‘The Reserve’ by TIArch Studio, Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering, Kazan, Russia.

And ‘ISM – Resonance of the Antiquity’ by Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The shortlist will be judged virtually by a jury of renowned airport architects, directors, planners, and scholars with the winners announced in October.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *