These days, more and more airports are being upgraded and modernized, giving comfort to passengers and supporting a country's economy, that eventually makes them more than just a transportation hub.
In this regard, travelers could value the uniqueness of each airport's design and architecture that could offer them stunning views till some of them are announced as the most beautiful airports in the world.
Curbed.com has rounded up the 13 most beautiful airports currently operating around the world. From Denver to Mumbai to Osaka, this architecture has taken to new heights.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport
Located in the capital of Azerbaijan, the Heydar Aliyev International Airport terminal features giant wooden cocoons designed by Turkish architecture studio Autoban.
Light streams in through the concave external glass walls, and each cocoon houses cafes, bars, stores, and amenities, like a children’s play area. Diamond patterns on the atrium floors mimic the wooden shingles of the cocoon. The airport can handle more than 5 million passengers each year.
Denver International Airport
Airport architecture in the United States often leaves much to be desired, but Denver’s fabric-covered tents are a highlight in a sea of boring design. Designed by Fentress Architects to mimic Colorado’s snow-capped Rocky Mountains, the tents look striking at any time of day—but their soft glow at sunrise and sunset is especially captivating.
Recent construction added a new Westin Hotel to the airport, and travelers can also now take a train directly from the airport to downtown Denver.
Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport
Located just 12 kilometers from the center of the Spanish city capital, the Barajas Airport received an upgrade in 2006 thanks to an addition by architect Richard Rogers that doubled the size of the airport.
The structure’s unusual wave-shaped roof is supported by central “trees” that punctuate the roof to provide natural light throughout the upper level of the terminal. Bright reds and yellows offer a welcome departure from the standard gray and white used in most airport color schemes, and the roof also provides much-needed shade to combat Madrid’s hot summers.
Kansai International Airport
Opened in 1994 to relieve overcrowding at Osaka International Airport, Kansai International Airport was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. Built on an artificial island in the Bay of Osaka, it’s the first “ocean” airport in the world and can handle 100,000 passengers a day.
The extra-long terminal—the longest in the world at the time it was built—stretches 1.7 kilometers with 42 boarding gates and a large curving roof shaped like an airfoil. The structure was specifically designed to handle Japan’s frequent earthquakes, and just four months after opening, the airport survived the 6.9 Kobe earthquake with minimal damage.
Beijing Capital International Airport
At two miles long, Terminal 3 of the Beijing International Airport is one of the largest buildings in the world. Opened just in time for the 2008 Olympics, this structure features a striking design—created by architects Foster + Partners that uses the traditional Chinese color scheme of red and yellow and a dragonlike form to celebrate Chinese history and culture.
The terminal building and transportation center together enclose a floor area of 1.3 million square meters and were designed to accommodate 50 million passengers each year by 2020.
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Mumbai’s new Terminal 2 building opened in 2014 to accommodate the city’s growing influx of visitors. A gigantic roof canopy references the form of vernacular Indian pavilions and is the centerpiece of the design.
In total, 30 mushrooming columns connect to the canopy overhead, with patterns inspired in part by India’s national bird, the peacock. SOM also sought to respect the traditions of local cultures - curbside drop-off zones are “designed for large parties of accompanying well-wishers [to] accommodate traditional Indian arrival and departure ceremonies.”
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
One of the largest airports in Asia, the Kuala Lumpur airport, designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, incorporates an Islamic-style shading roof anchored by massive columns. The roof is also reminiscent of a common tree in the Malaysian rainforest, and the lights on the canopy represent the filtered sun that shines between leaves.
Kurokawa’s “airport in the forest” design demonstrates how modern design—the shell-like roof is made with sleek stainless steel - and cultural traditions can blend together. The airport also features a series of prayer rooms throughout.
Marrakech's Menara Airport
Menara Airport in Marrakech, Morocco, was completed in 2008. Designed by Swiss Architects E2A Architecture, the building features stylized Islamic ornamental designs and a gorgeous façade. The design is said to be an example of how a contemporary building can use traditional patterns.
Kutaisi International Airport
Kutaisi International Airport, also known as David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport, is a small airport located in Kutaisi, Georgia.
Designed by Dutch architecture firm UNStudio, the building features bright red colors that help passengers to easily navigate the airport.
The building also features large windows, creating a light-filled interior with views of the Caucasus Mountains.
Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport is located in Bao’an district, Shenzhen, China.
Designed by Rome-based architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, the airport’s Terminal 3 building is considerably unique as it looks like a manta ray from above.
Pulkovo International Airport
Designed by London-based architecture firm Grimshaw Architects, Pulkovo International Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia, was completed in 2014 and is expected to welcome around 12 million passengers each year.
The building features a large flat roof that can withstand heavy snowfall.
Queen Alia International Airport
Situated in Amman, Jordan, Queen Alia International Airport features concrete domes designed by Foster+Partners. The domes are said to be inspired by Bedoui tents and its underside is embossed like the surface of a leaf. Browns and cream colors match the surrounding desert.
Often voted as one of the best airports in the world, the Changi Airport in Singapore is one of the largest transportation hubs in Southeast Asia. Its original terminals -Terminal 1 and 2 - are relatively utilitarian in design, but the 2008 Terminal 3 is much more unique. Built to accommodate increasing traffic, Terminal 3 is a steel-and-glass structure with a 9-hectare roof designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill.
SOM created an overhead light modulation system using glass skylights and thousands of aluminum louvers. Sensors limit the amount of direct sunlight during the day, and at night artificial light reflects off of the louvers to provide uniform illumination. Terminal 3 also includes a living ‘Green Wall’ and a butterfly garden.
A new terminal 4, designed by Benoy, is opened in 2017.
Source : The Jakarta Post, Curbed.com