Unconventional airports

ByIzay Ayesha

linguistics

Dated

June 19, 2022

Unconventional airports

Izay Ayesha describes some remarkable premises

There are many globally known Unconventional Airports in the world such as JFK and Heathrow but some remarkable aviation centres are kept hidden in mystery. They are exceptionally well-planned and boast ingenuity in the extreme. The following Unconventional Airports, though not famous, are models of remarkable vision and aesthetic sense.

Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Azerbaijan
With its futuristic design, the international terminal at the airport is a wonderful place to transit. Designed by Turkish architect studio Autoban in 2015, the triangular building features glass bubbles that lead into a check-in area scattered with trees and full of natural light. The striking wooden cocoons on the top floor of the terminal are one of its many distinctive design features. The spacious structures house cafés, bars, shopping kiosks, a children’s play area and luggage storage space among other things.

Barra Airport, Scotland
Less of a runway and more of a beach, this airport on the island of Barra in Scotland has one of the most exciting landings in the world. The surrounding beach is tidal, meaning the runways are underwater at certain times of day. Schedules are dictated by the tides, runways are marked by wooden poles at each end and the baggage reclaim looks more like a bus stop than an arrivals hall. Its facilities are minimal but it is all about the scenery here.

Mataveri International Easter Island, Chile
Sitting more than 2,300 miles from the mainland capital and with just one town and only 3,000 residents it is a beautifully remote and quiet place. Designed in a traditional style, with thatched roofing and wooden beams, it sets the scene perfectly for any visit to Easter Island. Its runway was initially intended as an emergency landing strip for the US Space Shuttle program, but has since been used to welcome visitors from South America, typically seeing around 100,000 passengers a year.

Carrasco International Airport, Uruguay
The largest airport in Uruguay was given a shiny new facelift by Uruguayan-born architect Rafael Vinoly in 2009 and still looks pretty snazzy over a decade later. One of its best features is the landscaped terrace on the second floor, where passengers can while away the hours gazing at the runway or public concourse. The terminal was designed to let in lots of natural light and has a distinctive 1,200-foot curved roof, reminiscent of the rolling dunes along Uruguay’s coastline.

Fresno Yosemite International Airport, California, USA
This airport, though, has a life-size replica sequoia forest in the central lobby. As the gateway airport to California’s Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, the airport’s leafy installation certainly sets the tone for exploring the region’s bountiful natural beauty. The giant trunks appear to grow through the roof of the building.

Unconventional Airports

Gisborne Airport, New Zealand
Here one is not imagining as one sees a train chugging across the runway of this little regional airport in New Zealand. In fact, it is the Palmerston North–Gisborne Line, which crosses straight through Gisborne Airport on the east coast of the North Island, making it the only airport in the Southern Hemisphere with a railway line crossing the main runway.
José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport, Ecuador
Most airports tend to be concrete jungles but not Guayaquil’s verdant building, which brings some of Ecuador’s lush flora to passengers in transit. The terminal has a tranquil botanical garden area, complete with trickling water features, pools full of fish, and a variety of native plants and flowers.

Unconventional Airports

Queen Tamar Airport, Georgia
This avant-garde airport near the medieval UNESCO World Heritage town of Mestia might be small but it is certainly memorable. It was designed by architect Jürgen Mayer, who was inspired by the ancient watchtowers of Mestia. The monochrome airport, which opened in 2010 and connects the remote region with capital Tbilisi, is named after Queen Tamar of Georgia, who ruled the country from 1184 to 1213. TW

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