Skidmore Owings and Merrill have unveiled their design for the Kempegowda International Airport Terminal 2 in Bengaluru, India. The new air travel hub for the region, the SOM terminal re-imagines the airport as a landscaped, serene transportation experience, conceived by the airport commission as a ‘terminal within a garden’. The project’s first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed in March 2021, when it will serve 25 million annual passengers.
The 255,000-square-meter scheme seeks to connect travellers with nature at every opportunity. Trees, small gardens, and ponds featuring local and exotic species of plants will line the interior, while planted bells hanging from the ceiling will greet passengers at the entrance. Beyond these spaces, a large indoor garden will contain rammed-earth walls and waterfalls, providing a gateway into the densely-landscaped retail space.
The terminal’s shopping area will connect the gates to a vast, three-story “forest belt” designed to create an immersive, calming outdoor experience for passengers. The forest belt is visible from all key indoor spaces from arrival gate to baggage claim, where material palettes are designed to work in concert with the natural landscape, be it brick, natural terrazzo, or engineered bamboo.
For decades, air travel has been a generic experience across the world, with terminal designs that seal the passenger off from the outside. For Terminal 2, SOM’s design inverts every expectation of how an airport can look and feel. With a focus on the passenger, we have created a rich, sensory experience.
-Laura Ettelman, Managing Partner, SOM
The scheme is inspired by Bengaluru’s history as a ‘Garden City’, recalling the area’s expansive parks and plantings which has recently declined due to urbanisation. The scheme, therefore, forms an opportunity to revitalise the city’s sense of place and establish a future vision for sustainable growth. To this end, the terminal will enact ambitious sustainability goals. The abundant vegetation complements the mechanical system to purify the air and serve as a natural counter to carbon emissions, while the building enclosure uses high-performance glazing and carefully calibrated shading to control natural light. Meanwhile, a large lagoon outside the terminal will capture rainwater for reuse in greywater processes including cooling and irrigation.
SOM’s design for the garden terminal comes as Safdie Architects nears completion of their dramatic landscaped Jewel Changi Airport, featuring the world’s largest indoor waterfall.
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