Upgrading Travelers’ Experience
APRIL 12, 2019 | CHANGI, SINGAPORE—
There has been a clear shift toward public transportation centers becoming mediums for innovation in design as technology advances, the climate changes, and consumers demand more from their spaces. For years, larger airports with even bigger budgets have paved the way for public transit centers, implementing forward-thinking design elements and investing in impressive amenities. For example, Jewel Changi in Singapore has a calming butterfly garden, Hong Kong has an IMAX theater and golf course, and Seoul Incheon offers travelers an indoor skating rink.
With efficiency, automation, and guest experience in mind, many medium and big-city airports are following Asia’s lead and upgrading their infrastructure. American airports remain some of the busiest in the world but have been slower to catch on to the innovative trends in airport design. With of millions of passengers taking flight every day, there’s no better time to improve accommodations.
Amenities are important, but first, designers must take the overall commuting experience into consideration. One of the first ways designers can reduce commuter stress is elevating the check-in and security experience. As technology improves, more opportunities will arise for automated self-service options in airport lobbies. As an added benefit, technology may eventually allow designers to remove some space from the lobby and dedicate more square footage to the next step in the airport experience: waiting for your flight.
To add a more calming ambiance to a stressful experience, many airports are attempting to bring the outdoors in by increasing natural lighting and adding more green spaces. Jewel Changi offers an extreme example with their plan for a Rain Vortex, set to be the world's tallest indoor waterfall and home to the world’s largest indoor plant collections.
As the world puts more focus on sustainability, we also expect to see airports using more local and natural materials in construction. Mexico City is currently holding a referendum for their new international airport, which aims to be the world's most sustainable airport, using minimal energy and offering shorter walking experiences for passengers.
Photo: ABS-CBN News