SOM’s design for new “Garden Terminal” at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru

Garden Terminal

Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) unveiled the design for Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR Airport) Terminal 2, a new air travel hub in Bengaluru, India that reimagines the airport as a landscaped and serene transportation experience. Conceived by BIAL to be a terminal within a garden, and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), the project’s first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed by March 2021 and is anticipated to serve 25 million passengers per year.

Every passageway throughout Terminal 2, which will reach about 255,000 square meters upon the completion of the first planned phase of construction, will connect travelers with nature. Trees, small gardens, and ponds featuring local and exotic species of plants will line the interior. Planted bells will hang from the ceiling at the entrance, check-in, and security. Just beyond these spaces, a large indoor garden featuring rammed-earth walls and waterfalls will provide a gateway into the densely-landscaped retail space.

The shopping area will then connect to the gates through Terminal 2’s signature space – a vast, three-story “forest belt” designed to create an immersive, calming outdoor experience for departing and arriving passengers alike. From entrance to concourse, and from arrival gate to baggage claim, all main indoor spaces will display views of the forest belt. The material palette for each of these indoor areas is designed to work in concert with the natural landscape: the walls will be made of brick, the floors will be covered in natural terrazzo, and the ceiling will be finished in engineered bamboo.

The design is inspired by Bengaluru’s history as a “Garden City.” Recalling Bengaluru’s expansive parks and plantings, an element that has declined due to urbanization, the landscape design serves as an opportunity to revitalize the city’s historic sense of place and establish a new vision for sustainable growth. At the same time, the design aligns with Bengaluru’s emerging role as a capital for technological innovation. SOM’s plan is designed with flexibility for the future integration of cutting-edge tools that will support vital airport functions.

Terminal 2 leverages its extensive landscape design to support the project’s ambitious sustainability goals. The abundant vegetation complements the mechanical system to purify the air and serve as a natural means of counteracting carbon emissions. The planned building enclosure uses high-performance glazing and carefully calibrated shading to temper natural light, which sustains interior plantings and minimizes reliance on artificial illumination. Outside Terminal 2, another expansive garden will be arrayed around a large lagoon to provide a nursery for maintaining the terminal’s plant life, while also creating a dramatic visual impression for arriving travelers.

Elevated walkways will thread through this outdoor garden, linking a series of public pavilions and connecting to both Terminal 1 and theairport hotel. The lagoon will capture rainwater for reuse in graywater processes, including cooling and irrigation. More importantly, the exterior space completes SOM’s design of a terminal in a garden. “Terminal 2 will stand apart from every other airport in the world,” said SOM Director Peter Lefkovits. “The orchestration of every component – both natural and man-made – creates a passenger experience that we hope will set a precedent for the future of airport design.” Source and images Courtesy of SOM.

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