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Monash Art Design & Architecture

Monash University

Monash Art Design & Architecture

Next Generation Airports


This studio will explore the changing role of and emergence of next generation airports, airport architecture and their aesthetics.

Students will develop awareness of the different paradigms that have informed airport architecture and explore approaches to consider the next generation of airports. The studio will facilitate a better understanding of how to generate large-scale airport architecture. And address and investigate individual approaches to design and design generators.

The studio will help/encourage students to become aware of and understand how it is that they personally go about making architecture. Students will be enabled to embark on a reflective and critical process on how they think about architecture, the city and air transportation through the process of creating airport architecture. Students will address contemporary issues of design with regard to mass public air transport.

What: This studio will explore the evolution of airports and mass public air transportation within the context of many contemporary airports now effectively being small cities in their own right. We will break airports into their functional/programmatic constituent components and consider the separation of Landside and Airside functions in large-scale airports i.e. the separation of the Terminal Processor/concourse from the Terminal Piers/runway functions. We will question what happens to the city and the airport when the separated Terminal Processor faculties are relocated into the CBD, connected to traditional mass transport infrastructure (road and rail) and combined with retail.

We will explore what happens to air travel when the Airside of airports are geographically separate from the Landside and operate 24/7.

Next Gen airports will likely involve the merging of domestic and international air travel, with no distinction between the two groups – improving security for travellers by using Swing Terminals.

The studio will consider the architectural responses possible to these complex, conflicting and shifting paradigms.

Why: To speculatively explore the possibilities for the next generation of air transport architecture is timely.

Increasing populations and resulting projections for increased traveller numbers demand larger and more efficient airports, with greater handling capacity and improved traveller safety, for more sustainable air travel.

The purpose of airports is shifting from purely processing points for the arrival and departure of planes and people to substantial retail, commercial and industrial hubs – small city like centres.

The commercial ownership of modern airports is driving greater focus on the commercial/retail component of profit driven air transportation hubs.

Communities prefer noisy, polluting airports located further away from residential neighbourhoods. Melbourne airport, like many is located in what was formally a city fringe area, which is now a middle suburban area. We will question what future airports will be and what a new airport for Melbourne could look like.

How: We will address the issues above by proposing a new International and Domestic airport for Melbourne by:

• Exploring the impact of next generation airports on the city and its integration into a broader transportation network/ infrastructure and retail/ commercial hub.
• Separating Airside and Landside functions.
• Proposing the connecting transport system of airports to explore the next generation of mass transit air travel.
• Engaging with large span structures.
• Exploring, testing and refining future possibilities for the next generation Airports.
• Questioning what next generation airports could look like.
• Engaging with wider retail design within the airport both Landside and Airside.

Outcome: A design for a future Airport for Melbourne – Landside, Airside and connecting transport infrastructure, including:

• Design for runaways, taxiways and airside concourse facilities of an airport.
• Design for concourse retail commercial and industrial landside faculties of an airport.
• Design the transport system between the Airside and Landside facilities
• Integrate new and separated Landside facilities into existing retail and transportation infrastructure.

Tutor: Sean McMahon
When: Wednesdays 9:30-12:30, 1:30-4:30
Where: TBC

Monash University
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