SOM in the Press

How Aviation Made the Modern Mind

Photo © Robert Polidori | Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd.

Source: The New Yorker

Airports used to run off landing and lease fees. Now they rely equally on retail to keep the lights on. Most of us can tell. An airport is among the most challenging structures to design—the architectural equivalent of a fugue—partly because movement in it is both various and constrained. International arrivals cannot mix with domestic until they’ve gone through immigration. Baggage handling should be neither seen nor heard, though it’s the vastest operation of all. The global range of airports chiefly displays different theories about how to sell. ...

Derek Moore, the director of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and an architect who has designed airports for twenty-five years, says that the most ambitious sites in progress, such as Dubai, are anticipating passenger flows exceeding a hundred million a year—more than any currently operational airport sees.

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