Compiled by Team IAnD Photography: Courtesy the architects |
India’s commercial capital, Mumbai’s stunning new GVK ChhatrapatiShivaji International Airport Terminal 2 designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) architects is a delightful unification of Indian art and design.
Inaugurated on Jan.10, 2014, the new elongated X-shaped air hub orchestrates the complex web of passengers and planes into a design that feels intuitive and responds to the region’s rocketing growth. Thenew terminal combines international and domestic passenger services under one large roof (one of the largest in the world without an expansion joint), optimizing terminal operations and reducing passenger walking distances.
The long-span capabilities of the steel truss structure allow for the spacing of thirty 130-foot columns,generating a large column-free central podium, reminiscent of the airy pavilions and interior courtyards of traditional regional architecture. Small disks of colourful glass recessed within the canopy’s coffers speckle the hall below with light, referencing the peacock, the national bird of India, and the symbol of the airport.
Rather than compartmentalizing terminal functions, three symmetrical concourses radiate outwards from a central processing core or ‘headhouse’that sits atop highly adaptable and modular concourses, which in turn are therefore easily reconfigured to “swing” between serving domestic flights or international flights, maximizing the terminal’s perimeter for aircraft gates.
Terminal 2 uses a high-performance glazing system with a custom frit pattern to achieve optimal thermal performance and mitigate glare. Perforated metal panels on the terminal’s curtain wall filter the low western and eastern sun angles, creating a comfortable day-lit space for waiting passengers, and responsive daylight controls balance outdoor and indoor light levels for optimal energy savings. Strategically-placed skylights throughout the check-in hall are said to reduce the terminal’s energy usage by 23%, while a 50-foot-tall glass cable-stayed wall—the longest in the world creates a transparent façade, going back to times of yore, allowing accompanying well-wishers to watch as their friends and family depart.
Just as the four-storey terminal celebrates a new global, high-tech identity for Mumbai, the structure is imbued with responses to the local setting, history, and culture.Ace Indian fashion designers Abu Jani and SandeepKhosla, known for their distinctive flair for Indian designs have created the interiors that reflect heavy use of Indian textiles. Culturally referential fixtures and details, such as custom chandeliers inspired by the lotus flower and traditional mirror mosaic work created by local artists, over 6000 artefacts sourced from across India, and a mammoth art project featuring 1500 artists,elevates the ambience of terminal beyond the typical, often unimaginative airport experience.
With modern materials and technologies and cutting-edge strategies setting a new standard for sustainable, modern airport design, the terminal is as much a showpiece of the history and traditions of India and Mumbai, as it is an unprecedented structural and technological achievement.
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Architecture, Airport, Interior Design, Mumbai, India, Infrastructure.,