Bangkok - Suvarnabhumi International Airport
The first thing which overwhelms you is the sheer size of it - the height of the spaces, the gigantic departure hall which can accommodate a few football fields, the length of the contact piers, and the endless number of people ! Architecturally, it is functional and modernist industrial chic with very little decorations or features to conceal the countless structures and mechanical services criss-crossing the building. Columns and ceilings are bare concrete, floors are of course tiled and marbled.
On the whole the minimalist aesthetic works well, and highlights the Thai objet d'art which are placed at strategic locations. One of the most unique feature of this airport is the design of the contact piers. They are barrel-shaped tubes covered in a translucent plastic material which lets in light but rejects the heat. Full height glazing punches through at regular intervals to let in more light and allow views onto the runways. While totally modern in design, the architects have successfully incorporated certain elements which evoke traditional Thai culture, especially in the geometries.
Drop-off area at the terminal.
The spacious departure hall, which can still seem crowded due to the sheer number of people.
There are some nice lounges to kill time while waiting for your flight.
The large central courtyard enclosed by the terminal building.
The barrel-shaped contact piers covered in translucent plastic.
The departure lounge at the contact piers, bathed in ligth from the full height glazing.