2018 Past Winners

    2017-2018 Airport of the Future

    For 2017-2018, students around the globe were invited to advance the concept of what an international airport terminal might be in the year 2075

    1st Place

    Lake Michigan Airport - Relocating O’Hare 2075
    Thomas M. Smith
    University College London

    Lake Michigan Airport - Relocating O’Hare 2075

    Rates of air travel have continued to rise since the conception of the passenger jet in the 20th Century. In the struggle to deal with rising passenger numbers, turnaround times at airports have slowed, resulting in an increase in the average delay times of flights. In response to this, numerous ‘Mega Airports’ are under construction and the world's busiest airports continue to expand, adding new terminals and runways. The scale of this construction inevitably results in the airport being pushed further away from the city.

    Speculating on future developments in aviation technologies, the Lake Michigan Airport will relocate O’Hare International Airport to downtown Chicago. The implementation of two patents by Boeing and Airbus—vertical takeoff passenger jets, and capsule fuselage loading systems—will negate the need for vast runways will and increase turn around speed in the airport. Realised through the use of engineered timber, the highly efficient airport’s compact footprint allows it to be placed at the centre of Chicago, eliminating the additional infrastructure required to serve an outer city terminal. As with Grand Central Station, this proximity to the city enables the airport to assume a new civic role.

    2nd Place and People's Choice Award

    The Living Airport – Dallas/Fort Worth International
    John Cyril A. Isaac
    University of Santo Tomas, Philippines

    The Living Airport 
    Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport 2075

    The design concept entitled, “The Living airport” also known as the “intelligent airport” is equipped with a computer mainframe (brain) run by an artificial intelligence (A.I.) program. It has the capability to progress itself by developing more adaptive and technically advance systems. Its sensors in the control tower and different locations in the whole airport synthesizes, analyses, and elicits precise response and solutions to most common irregularities or even rather complex concerns

    It has the capability to establish an “eco system.” It Integrates a wholesome and healthy ambiance of the organic elements of nature with the inorganic components of structural technology as it progresses. Nature’s presence is felt inside the terminal where trees, ponds, fish indoor species, waterfalls, and rivers are put in place. As it is run by an artificial intelligence, it regulates its continuous operation and maintenance. Thus the whole integrated eco system also regulates and controls the temperature of the entire terminal.

    Moreover, the A.I. system conducts pre-departure and arrival procedural requirements in the terminal and in the Mobile processing transport (MPT) airlift powered vehicles. The MPT is a booking transport APP that is dispatched to fetch the passenger and bring him directly to the boarding area since all the procedures have been accurately processed in the Vehicle. This saves him a lot of time, provides convenience, and security. The Living Airport has fully developed the technology of a hologram/augmented reality presentation which highlights briefly the presence and amenities of the Dallas airport. It also projects in the hologram the country’s citizens good and strong attributes with respect to cultural and social norms. It shows also beautiful tourist locations. This is a boost to the country’s tourism.

    3rd Place

    A Vision for the Heathrow of Tomorrow
    Jia Yapp
    Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

    A vision for the Heathrow of Tomorrow 

    Since its official opening more than half a century ago, London Heathrow (LHR) has grown from a small civil airport to one of the world’s busiest aviation hubs. 

    The growth, however, comes with a price. As the world continues to admire Heathrow’s great success, local communities are facing the environmental challenges caused by an ad-hoc airport development. In addition, Heathrow’s expansion is limited by its proximity to the neighbouring boroughs, causing the airport to operate under its full capacity. With no margin for error, a small incident can easily cause major flight disruptions or even threaten the closure of Heathrow. As a result, Heathrow is more vulnerable than other major European airports. 

    In the wake of these challenges, Heathrow 2.0, a proposal to build a highly efficient, green, and state-of-the-art airport terminal is put forth in order to secure Heathrow’s position as the world’s leading aviation hub. 

    1. Growing in Capacity 

    The new proposal aims to overcome Heathrow’s space constraints by introducing high-density underground infrastructure development. 

    2. Growing in Connectivity 

    High-density development allows a more compact design of airport infrastructures, providing a faster and seamless passenger experience. In addition, by introducing high-speed inter-airport train services, Heathrow provides its transit passengers an extra option of airside flight connections between major airports in London, first-of-its-kind in the aviation industry. 

    3. Growing in Urban Greenery 

    The subterranean design allows more surface area to be transformed into public recreational areas and farmlands, reinstating the synergy between urban infrastructure and community programmes. A 5-storey urban farming facility is also featured in the new airport design as part of Heathrow’s vision in pioneering the next generation urban farming.

    #2 People's Choice Award

    TUFA - The Urban Form of Aviation, HEATHROW
    Claudio Nieto Rojas
    Architectural Association, Mexico City

    2075: London in Heathrow 

    The notion of urbanity is increasingly associated with airports, as they have become a key political, economic, and urban driver in a globalized world. Emerging paradigms proposing a conflation of airport and city have been primarily based on an economic perspective though. Terms such as “airport city” and “aerotropolis” have been coined to describe large-scale commercial developments. A significant problem arises when these models are applied as tools for urbanization, hence questioning the urbanity, or lack thereof, that can emerge from such developments.

    Contrary to the economic approach that has created a problematic, non-spatial urban discourse based on the economic function of building clusters that surround the airport, this project argues that its urbanity must come from the airport itself, from the distinct functions of aviation and their spatial design. Infrastructure – in this case, the airport – should be considered as an important design problem with great relevance to the city and its role in the twenty-first-century’s hyper-connected world.

    The exploration of this premise finds its setting in London in order to speculate on how its current position as the world’s center — in terms of international air traffic — can be consolidated by 2075, thus becoming the hub of the future world. The spatial typology developed in the proposal explores the potential that architecture has for dealing with urban infrastructures. When they are confronted with architecture’s inextricable spatiality and tensions, the design challenge is to create a coherent urban system for the contrasting characteristics of the city and infrastructure in relation to scale, politics, economics, and society. The spatial negotiations that architecture offers can hereby create a sense of urbanity, despite the presence of a large infrastructural element such as the airport.