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Students around the globe were invited to advance the concept of what an international airport terminal might be in the year 2100.

1ST PLACE The Green Gateway Nikhil Bang and Kaushal Tatiya, Southern  California Institute of Architecture - A Green Gateway

The winning concept, designed by Nikhil Bang and Kaushal Tatiya from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), transforms Indira Gandhi International Airport into a forward-thinking, sustainable multimodal hub that mitigates the enivironmental impacts of air travel while enhancing mobility across New Delhi, India—one of the most populated and polluted cities in the world. The design, dubbed “the Green Gateway,” proposes a future where airports are more than buildings; they provide a seamless connection to the cultural context of the site, from their planning to their form and materiality.

Embracing sustainable design strategies, the zero-emission concept features a decentralized system of one central terminal and six towers dispersed throughout the city. The towers provide a dual purpose, working as both air-purifying centers and stations for flying cars. This solution significantly improves mobility across the city by replacing domestic flights as one of the major sources of pollution.

The students’ submission describes the airport’s design as “zero-emission at the macro and micro level, improving mobility across the city by replacing domestic flight as one of the major sources of pollution and making air travel a person affair.”

2ND PLACE Hartsfield Drive-In, Dušan Sekulic University of Ljubljana, Slovenia ATL Hartsfield Drive-In

What does travel and transportation look like in 2100? According to second-place winner Dušan Sekulic—a student at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia—fully autonomous pods, driving chairs, AI-powered navigation, and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft will be key ingredients to designing the next-gen airport experience. The concept proposes reimagining Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)—the busiest airport in the world—as a drive-in airport where travelers’ individual pods and driving chairs bring them directly to the aircraft. Playing off of Atlanta’s reputation as a “city in the forest,” the new ATL will feature a green design approach, merging the airport with the city’s skyline to create an “airport in the forest.”

3RD PLACE W.A.D, Floating Aero City Yuanxiang Chan, Chaofan Zhang, and Zhuangzhuang KingBeijing Jiaotong University, W.A.D, Floating Aero City

This year’s third-place winner responded to an ever-important reality: how airport design can prepare airports located in high-density seaside cities to adapt to the effects of climate change. Floating Aero City, designed by Yuanxiang Chan, Chaofan Zhang, and Zhuangzhuang King from Beijing Jiaotong University, provides a highly visionary approach to sustainable design. Located in Hong Kong, the airport responds to the site’s subtropical climate conditions and high-density issues. Floating on Hong Kong’s ocean, the airport’s three-dimensional, moveable platform reduces the impact on the natural terrain while increasing available land. The structure’s vertical form significantly reduces the time it takes passengers to flow from check-in to boarding, enhancing the overall passenger experience. Sustainable design strategies include daylighting, tidal power generation, a circular runway and hydrogen-powered aircraft.


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 W. Fentress, FAIA, RIBA – Principal in Charge of Design, Fentress Architects

Agatha Kessler – Chairman, Fentress Architects

Lois Kramer – CEO, KRAMER aerotek inc.

George Miller – COO, Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Dr. Patricia A. Ryan – President, Decision Services International

Somer Shindler – Owner, J. Shindler Solutions

Bradley D. Schulz, FAIA

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