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Terminal 2 at Hong Kong International Airport

contributed by 323 World Architecture Festival , 2 November 2009

 

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Description Terminal 2 at Hong Kong International Airport:

This project, commissioned by the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), is located opposite the existing Passenger Terminal Building (Terminal 1). It is a multi-modal transportation hub where air, sea, land and retail transport links seamlessly. It is also equipped with a range of ancillary facilities and services comprising shopping, dinning and entertainment. This multi-use, 140,000m2 development accommodates:

• 56 Airline check-in counters (with provision for a further 56 check-in counters)
• Departures facilities, including check-in desks and baggage handling system
• Customs, immigration and quarantine facilities
• New Automated People Mover (APM) station, connecting Terminal 2 to the air departure gates on the west and to SkyPier on the east
• A 36-bay bus terminal serving tour groups and Mainland China coaches, including a large indoor waiting lounge
• New platforms and direct connection to the Airport Express MTR station
• 35,000s.m. of shopping, catering, and entertainment facilities, including a 4D cinema theatre
• Two 15,000s.m. office buildings, one of which serves as the AAHK headquarters
• A new elevated passenger departure road, new surface road system and car parks, and several elevated pedestrian bridges link to the surrounding SkyCity development

Terminal 2 provided Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) with expanded passenger handling facilities, needed to accommodate the rapid growth of traffic at the airport, and together with SkyPier – the new cross-boundary ferry terminal under construction, will significantly expand HKIA’s reach into markets in the Pearl River Delta region.

In the long run, Terminal 2 will serve as the transportation hub and “town square” of SkyCity, a large development being built in phases at Chek Lap Kok. It is a conspicuous investment intended to increase the airport’s revenue base and serves as a catalyst for future development.

The Design Challenge
The Design Team was faced with the challenge of designing this complex, multi-modal, multi-use building in the most efficient and cost-effective way, while endowing it with a distinct identity. Some specific design goals were:

• Reconcile different and sometimes competing program elements
• Allow for future flexibility, especially in retail areas
• Architecturally enhance wayfinding and orientation
• Create a memorable architectural expression both inside and out, distinct yet complementary to the existing, iconic terminal building
• Integrate the interior with the key view corridor through the spine of SkyCity
• Create an environmentally-responsible building by minimizing heat load and maximizing natural light

Exterior Expression
The solution of a “big gesture” roof, typical of most contemporary airport terminals, was deemed inappropriate. It was considered both unnecessarily expensive and in conflict with the distinctive roof profile of the existing terminal.

There was another important reason why the muscular roof solution was rejected: while initially Terminal 2 would be seen in its entirety from various vantage points, over time the area around it will get built up, ultimately obscuring most of its exterior shape. Unlike the existing terminal, Terminal 2 is set not in an airfield but an urban environment.

The solution chosen for the exterior expression focused instead on surface and texture. The exterior vertical aluminum mullions caps were given undulating shapes, creating a “wave” expression both vertically and horizontally. While the most dramatic and dynamic reading is offered as one travels around the building, from inside a car or from the window of an airplane, any glimpse of the exterior, even through the crack between two buildings, will reveal this unique texture of the exterior skin.

Further refinements to the exterior were meant to soften the essentially “big box” nature of the building. Corners were rounded, and transitions between glazed and metal-clad surfaces were blurred through the use of “blending” zones of alternating metal and glass bands.

At night, pole-mounted directional LED lights wash the building’s exterior, adding a warm glow to the textured surface.

Transportation Gateways
It is unique to have so many modes of transportation – trains, buses, cars, pedestrians, and, indirectly, even airplanes and ferries – converging under a single roof. Celebrating these modes, and the moments of transition between them, enhances passenger orientation while infusing the building with the excitement of modern transportation.

Typically made of orange-fritted glass, these “transportation gateways” are at once objects and lenses, portals and windows. On the one hand, they catch and direct the eye; on the other, they capture the different modes of transportation and bring them into the big space.

Interior Planning and Expression
From the outset, the Design Team sought to enhance the interior experience through both planning and architectural expression. Diverse program spaces – check-in, coach waiting lounge, retail – flow into each other in section, while remaining largely distinct in plan. This clear plan “zoning” allows the creation of comfortable and appropriate environments within each functional area. The visual links afforded by the open space, on the other hand, help users navigate between the different functions and serve the intended purpose of exposing them to the retail offerings.

As in many large-scale, open-space facilities, the uniting architectural element of Terminal 2’s interior is the ceiling. In the absence of a “big gesture” roof, the vast field under the steel truss structure is given a textured expression not unlike the exterior walls, with undulating baffles filtering natural and artificial light while obscuring the structure and various building systems.

Elsewhere in the interior, passenger processing areas are given a quiet, neutral expression, to increase comfort and create a contrast with the retail and entertainment areas, which are given a much more exuberant treatment, using colors, bright lights, and a more diverse material palette. Curved shapes and soft edges are used extensively, creating a kinship with the external façade undulating fin expression and ceiling baffle expression, contrasting with the hard-edged existing terminal building.

 

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Information Terminal 2 at Hong Kong International Airport:

Project function:
Description tags:
WAF,
Address: 
Hong Kong



Area: 
119752
(m²)


License: 
None (All rights reserved)


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