A comfortable landing Christchurch airport redesign by Hassell and Warren and Mahoney

Christchurch airport redesign by Hassell and Warren and Mahoney

View of the interior of Christchurch Airport.Features various sky, tourist attraction, black, gray
View of the interior of Christchurch Airport.Features various large scale photos of the south island by Photographer John Doogan.

Upgrading an international airport provides an opportunity to improve function, but it's also a good time to consider wider issues.

When Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL) decided it was time to leave behind its outdated 1960s facilities, the management felt it also wanted to develop an international reputation as New Zealand's leading tourism and leisure airport. It embarked on a complex staged construction and design project, involving the theming and branding of the International Arrivals area, the construction of a new integrated terminal and a new regional departures lounge, each project with its own design and construction team.

Warren and Mahoney Architects, in collaboration with Hassell, took up the brief to design and deliver a new airport with an integrated check-in hall for international and domestic passengers that would cope with increasing numbers of overseas visitors, and would enhance their arrival experience.

Project architect Simon Brown says the rationale was to create a simple and functional design for what is an extremely complex process.

Floor plan angle, area, design, diagram, engineering, floor plan, line, map, plan, product design, structure, urban design, white
Floor plan

"Inside the terminal, the design is very clean and with a modern palette of materials. White panelled ceilings, white walls, and glimpses of the structure create a simple backdrop to a vibrant and active terminal," says the architect.

"On the exterior, metal cladding is combined with sheets of translucent polycarbonate that are dramatically illuminated from behind a bold gesture that animates the facade. The muted grey shades of the building ensure that its appearance is both simple and modern," says Brown.

The total project is being undertaken in stages to ensure the airport is open and operational at all times. Phase One, the integrated check-in hall, is now open, with baggage handling services, and a new food court and retail outlets to provide the best possible arrival experience for visitors.

Functionally, the design for the upgraded airport pivots on a central spine with land-based activities on one side and air-based activities on the other.

View of the interior of Christchurch Airport. airport terminal, outlet store, retail, shopping mall, gray
View of the interior of Christchurch Airport.

The regional departures lounge, designed by architects Jasmax and BVN, sits to the side of the main terminal and features a dramatic pine ceiling.

To encourage visitors to the airport to engage with the South Island landscape, spectacular local scenes feature throughout the space. The back wall of the check-in hall is clad with basalt panels blasted with a pattern that represents the braided rivers of Canterbury. Other points of engagement are the air bridges, where floor-to-ceiling images by photographer John Doogan provide scenes of various landscapes of the South Island. Completing the immersive experience are a soundtrack and scents evocative of the region.

Credit list

Integrated terminal project management
Geoff Eban, Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL)
Construction for the terminal
Hawkins Construction
Construction for regional departures lounge
Electrical engineer
Pedersen Read
Hassell, Warren and Mahoney Architects
Project management
Coffey Projects
Concrete by Bradford
Wall tiles
Cinca from The Tile Shoppe
Wall coverings
Basalt cladding by Timaru Bluestone
Bishops Interiors
Fire protection
Architect, interior design for the terminal
Tony Grist, Bill Gregory, George Wong, Simon Brown, Warren and Mahoney Architects, in collaboration with Hassell
Architect for regional departures lounge
Civil and mechanical engineer
Quantity surveyor
Fire consultant
BB 900 metal cladding by Dimond; Danpalon cladding by Everlight
Tile flooring
Agglonord from The Tile Shoppe
Carpet by Dominion Flooring
Paints and varnishes

Story by: Trendsideas

19 Sep, 2011