Bangkok’s newest airport was completed in 2006 but like many big architecture projects, the planning process started much earlier in 1995. An International Competition led to a collaboration between Werner Sobek, Matthias Schuler and Helmut Jahn.
The building shows a clear connection between architectural ideas and clever engineering. The climate would have represented a challenge on both fronts. The buildings most interesting feature is its roof. It is a long span, lightweight steel structure with glass and a translucent membrane which seems to drape from and contrast with the steel structure.
I was told by the Thai’s that it was based on traditional Thai shapes but with a short Internet search I was unable to find out what these may have been. My best bet is a snake, as at times it does feel a bit like being in the belly of one! The distance it covers is quite long, with some travellers probably very glad to see the travellators. The amount of daylight and climate control seem to have been achieved very successfully. It was a pleasant place to wait for a flight.
As an interesting fact, in 2011, the airport came in second place as the most popular spot for instagram photos!