Kansai International Airport
This project aimed to turn the proposed Kansai International Airport into a new type of metropolis by enlarging the airport into an event or spectacle—a city of interchange and exchange, business, commerce, and culture. This 24-hour-a-day continuous intervention was designed to act as a counterpoint to the city of Osaka, meant to not only serve world travelers but also to act as a new urban segment for culture and recreation.
The airport is divided into two distinct parts, the linear city and the deck. The linear city consists of three lines: the double strip, the wave, and the slab. The double strip contains all airport transfer functions in the terminal wings. The wave and the slab are located between the two layers of the double strip. Both are narrow. The slab contains two hotels with a total of 1,000 rooms as well as office space. The wave contains a mile-long entertainment, cultural, and sports center. more
The narrowness of the two bands not only reinforces the linearity of the new city, but forces an unprecedented density of events. The deck extends all the activities—from trade and commerce to art and culture—that take place in the linear city. With a non-directional structure that encompasses check-in counters, immigration offices, and related services while allowing for extended tracts of space, it appears like an endless, four-story functional landscape.
The bands of the wave, slab, double strip, and deck challenge traditional architecture by introducing spectacular parallel disjunctions. The interstices between the bands become as architecturally important as the bands themselves. Perceived by the visitor as stunning visual rifts, the linear negative spaces of these interstices question architectural composition by proposing unclassifiable spaces. Similarly, the distortion of the wave and its obliquely vertical axis question gravity, as the datum plane ceases to be the ground and instead becomes a conceptual or technological parameter. back
Competition, 2nd Prize, 1988
4,055,500 sq. feet
City of Kansai Transportation Authority
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Mehrdad Hadighi, Robert Young, Mark Haukos, Frazer Gardiner, Gilbert Schafer, Koichi Yasuda, Stan Allen, Luca Merlini, Ursula Kurz, Christian Biecher. Consultant: Hugh Dutton (RFR)