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Students around the globe were invited to advance the concept of what an international airport terminal would look like in the year 2075.

1ST PLACE Infinity Airport, Daoru Wang, North Carolina State University

To improve the efficiency of the airport typology, this project underwent an intensive study of aircraft traffic flow and further developed the concept of a ‘drive-through airport.’ Just as important as the internal operations, the connection to the existing urban fabric ensures that the design is not only efficient but also celebrated and utilized properly. Taking inspiration from the torus knot, which appears like two overlapping INFINITY symbols, the general shape of the airport combines the complexity of the form and the ideology of INFINITY by creating the circular and endless concourse system. At the same time, the double-loaded bar system has the capability to stream the loading/unloading process, which underlines the importance of the circulation of the aircraft within the airport and expands the limits of the typology of existing airport.”– Daoru Wang

2ND PLACE Newark Airport Biophilic Headhouse and Community Nexus, Samantha Pires, New Jersey Institute of Technology

“The project uses this rail access and a consolidated terminal to explore ideas defined by economic analyst John Kasarda, [author of] the Aerotropolis. The aerotropolis is a conceptual type of urban form, with the airport as the center of the metropolis. This project applies the concept of the aerotropolis and proposes that the Airport of the Future is one that brings economic development to the community that it serves. It proposes that the Airport of the Future should not be governed by fear and ‘security theater’ that runs modern airports, but that it should be a place for community engagement, job opportunities and a catalyst for neighborhood development and benefit.” – Samantha Pires

3RD PLACE LondonHeathrow 2075, Christopher Johnson, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK

“A new airport concept typology explores future technological trends and smart cities to connect humanity directly to generate a new urban fabric within the existing airport landmass of Heathrow. A drive-through concept that sits below the airport terminal allows aircraft traffic and waiting times to be reduced. Technological innovations suggest a reduction in physical passports, security and immigration as it moves to an online environment. An international zone that lives within a country that provides free roam to visitors and guests creates a global destination that re-invests in the notion of the UK’s stance on the global market.” – Christopher Johnson


The entries were evaluated on five criteria—creative approach and presentation; response to site; sustainability and resiliency; functionality; and innovation and technology—by a a jury of renowned professionals in the field of aviation, which included:

Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA, Founder and Principal in Charge of Design of Fentress Architects

Thomas Pellegrin, Head of Consulting – Asia & Middle East, IATA

Christine Negroni, Air safety specialist, journalist, and author of The Crash Detectives

Charles Waldeheim, Director, Office of Urbanization at the Harvard University School of Design

Ken Gidlow, Technical Advisor, FAA at the NASA Johnson Space Center

Dr. David Alexander, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the Rice Space Institute

Bryant L. Francis, C.M., Director of Aviation at the Port of Oakland

Khaled Naja, Executive Vice President of Airport Development and Planning, Dallas Forth Worth International Airport

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