CNN has released its list of “new buildings set to shape the world in 2023.” Along with the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, Egypt and the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi, an airport has made it onto its list of global architectural highlights.
That airport is Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru (Bangalore).
In November 2022, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi opened the airport’s brand new “Terminal in a Garden”, as Terminal Two is called. The first flights from the Terminal are expected later this month.
Designed by Chicago architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the Terminal building incorporates thousands of plants, landscaped areas and natural waterfalls.
There are 10,235 sqm of green walls around the terminal, while hanging gardens cascade down from the roof on the bronze veils and bells suspended from the ceiling.
In total, 620 endemic plants, 3,600+ plant species, 150 palm species, 7,700 transplanted trees, 100 varieties of lilies, 96 lotus species and 180 rare, endangered and threatened species and 10 ecological habitats make up the green landscape around T2.
Meanwhile the garden around the terminal maintains a microclimate that is two to three degrees lower than its surroundings.
Sustainability baked into the design
Needless to say the building has an important sustainability element.
Terminal Two embodies India’s ‘sustainable technology vision’ using 100% renewable energy sources.
The majority of the building has also been made from engineered bamboo, which is considered to emit no carbon. And in terms of water management, rainwater harvesting will result in 1.6 million litres of water being supplied to the Terminal every day.
Beyond the Terminal itself, the airport has switched to LED lighting on the airfield, further decreasing its dependence on non renewable energy.
The Indian media is rightly proud of the end result.
Mint calls it “swanky” and says it will “dazzle visitors.” The Deccan Herald says it’s an example of smart tech combining with sustainability ideas. Meanwhile, News 18 said it had “planted the seeds for the blossoming of Bengaluru.”
The BLR Metaport
But what about audiences outside India, or people who might not be able to fly into the airport in the near future?
Kempegowda International Airport is using the Metaverse to showcase the new terminal to the wider world, via the ‘BLR Metaport.’
Accessing the BLR Metaport involves creating an account, and then navigating a three dimensional version of the terminal via your web browser or smart device.
The Metaport was developed with the assistance of Amazon Web Services and Polygon. Along with the Qatar Airways, ‘QVerse’, this is one of the first aviation metaverse projects in the world.
Overall, Terminal in a Garden is an excellent example of how an enhanced passenger experience and sustainability can work hand in hand, and it’s sure to wow the millions of passengers who will be passing through over the coming years.
All images via Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru on Facebook