World’s Most Iconic Airports
Filed Under: AirportsThere was a time, not so long ago, when airports in major international cities weren’t more attractive than your average industrial warehouse -- a fitting environment as passengers in the 1970s and '80s were essentially loaded and unloaded like so much cargo. Narrow hallways harshly lit with florescent lighting, depressing décor and confusing layouts downgraded a once-glamorous, fashionable adventure into a distinctly pedestrian experience.
Fortunately, that particularly unattractive era in aviation history is becoming a blurred (and hopefully distant) memory as cities are tapping renowned architects -- and making investments in the billions -- to transform their busiest terminals into fully functional works of art.
While the modern wave in airport design kicked off in Asia (with Beijing, Bangkok, Osaka, Incheon and Singapore all creating soaring, light-infused terminals that could vie for "world’s most exceptional") the rest of the world has taken the trend and run with it. Now, hubs from Wellington, New Zealand to Montevideo, Uruguay, are undergoing total transformations, pushing the boundaries of design in inspiring ways while staying true (whenever possible) to local cultures and sensibilities.
The resulting structures are not only exceedingly more interesting and inviting than they once were, they’re designed to transform the entire passenger experience. Not all of the new designs have received unanimous raves, but the 10 featured here have certainly been the subject of admiration -- and endless conversation.