The World’s Largest Airport Terminal

At the end of March, I was at O’Hare, waiting with my family at the proper terminal for almost an hour in preparation to fly to Las Vegas. 20 minutes before the planned takeoff, it was announced that we now had to walk two terminals over where the plane was now going to board. That walk alone took 15 minutes.

Why am I letting you know this? Because I thought you should know that my feet hurt I can’t imagine how frustrating last minute terminal changes will be in the world’s largest terminal set to be built in Istanbul in 2019. That’s because the terminal is expected to gross one million square meters (that’s 247 acres).

Last week, new designs were revealed for the terminal complex to the brand new Istanbul airport located on the Black Sea. The vast project is a collaboration between three international architecture firms: Grimshaw ArchitectsHaptic Architects and Nordic Office of Architecture. Six runways will be constructed in four parts with the first phase looking to serve 90 mil­lion annual passengers. Look for that number to increase over 150 mil­lion travelers once the final stage of the project is completed after 2019. Finally, there are also plans for 892 moving walkways, 90 McDonalds and Starbucks kiosks, and 407 bathrooms (all numbers approximate).

Back to a serious note: one of the distinct features of the terminal is the canopy style roof. It clearly defines the space not only aesthetically, but also in how it affects Istanbul’s ever-changing light hitting the interior of the terminal. In fact, the design calls for important landmarks like check-in, security, and pass­port control to be made easily identifiable through strategically placed skylights and the shape of the canopies themselves.

My odd idea for the canopies? I feel like it should house the Independence Day fighter jet that Will Smith & Jeff Goldblum pilot to destroy the mothership. It was my (odd) first thought: the curves of the ship resemble the canopy seen in the first image of the gallery above.

Couldn't you see a runway made for the Independence Day fighter ship under these canopies?

Couldn’t you see a runway made for the Independence Day fighter ship under these canopies?

While the terminal is years away from fruition, it is always amazing to see ambition on display through the design as firms continue to aim for the phrase “world’s largest”. The brief video below further shows the Istanbul terminal — now solidly in my 2019 calendar.

h/t designboom