A Walk in the Park Airport Inhabitation: Making Place in the Place-less
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Airports are nodes of convergence, intersection and divergence. They are processing machines functioning solely to move people from one stage to another in an efficient, expedient manner. This thesis takes the position that the contemporary airport can be a human place that is culturally specific and functional. The thesis first studies the airport as a system and a non-place. It then analyses the “Room” and system of historical transportation hubs and contemporary airports for clues of place-making. Finally, the thesis discovers the idea of “The Garden” as the method of growing a sense of place. The site for testing the thesis principles is Hong Kong airport. Natural and cultural design elements specific to Hong Kong are integrated into the existing airport terminal, and used to create physical/typological spaces that are human scale and engage the senses. The circulation in the terminals becomes the garden path, and the airport becomes a more connected part of the journey and an extension of the city. Moving through the airport is now – a ‘walk in the park’.