News - 3 November 2015

UNStudio/ Ben van Berkel propose innovative model for Terminal 3 of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport

UNStudio’s design for Terminal 3 of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was awarded 2nd prize amongst the shortlisted competitors Rogers Stirk Harbour and Fosters + Partners.  Terminal 3 at Taoyuan airport is planned to accommodate 45 million passengers a year. UNStudio’s design challenges the accepted utilitarian approach to airport design in an effort to propose a new global standard for an efficient, sustainable, flexible and innovative terminal model.

The airport typology revisited
With a core team, comprising Bio-Architecture Formosana from Taipei, April Yang Design Studio from Ohio, and a multidisciplinary consultant team - UNStudio reexamines the airport typology through careful analysis of the existing terminals at Taoyuan, whilst anticipating airport operational requirements, infrastructure and the spatial constraints of the site.

Using personal travel experience as a starting point, UNStudio felt that in recent times airport architecture has become rigidly prescribed as a typology with excessive and monotonous use of space. Michael Speaks (jury member and Dean and Professor at Syracuse University) stressed that 'UNStudio offered the most innovative design concept'. He expressed that 'the entire jury agreed that UNStudio's airport design was the one they would want to experience most'. With ‘place making’ at the central core of the design concept, UNStudio strived to distinguish its design from a generic solution by designing for the users and by creating an interior ecology that is entirely distinct from the look and feel of comparable airports.

UNStudio’s design is characterised by its efficiency, short walking distances and optimised airport functions following the principles of natural wayfinding. A small footprint and enough area for landsite construction allow for a quick building assembly with a prefabrication strategy. All of which contribute to a simple, fast paced, sustainable and effective implementation of the overall design strategy.