Suvarnabhumi International Airport Bangkok

The front of the airport with the main roof structure in the background.

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.

The impressive roof which greets departing passengers.

A look out to one of the many wings which contain the gates.

The adjustable outer shade structures which help with climate control.

One of the shorter distance views in the airport!

Detail of the draping translucent material contrasting with the steel.

The double height walkways help keep arrivals and departures separate, keeping people in the right places!

Another detail of the impressive roof.

As an interesting fact, in 2011, the airport came in second place as the most popular spot for instagram photos!

This entry was published on May 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm and is filed under Airport, Architecture, Thailand, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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