Capturing those rhythm of Flow - a new airport on the Manukau Harbour

Front Entrance View of the Airport

This thesis focuses on studying and establishing the locality of the future airport terminal design, setting up Auckland Airport as the core of the discussion, and exploring the necessity, potential, and influence of the airport as a gateway to the city. The airport as an architecture piece has been through radical evolution in terms of form, function, and typology. The matured systematic arrangements which were successfully developed over the years, and the additional spaces that emerged within the terminal (currently mostly used for commercial purposes), have led us to think of the higher value of an airport as a gateway to the country.

Architecture has great power to convey symbolism, a narrative of its location or sense of its place, and its cultural background. The airport, as one of the most complex and significant architectural moments of a city, is acting as an “ambassador” for the local city and region, making the first local connection and a memorable final lasting impression. What are the architectural opportunities for a new airport? And how shall architects act as the mediator between the place and the people? Drawing on the powerful land and skyscape of the Manukau, the great migrating flocks of birds or manu, the origin stories of Te Ao Maori and facilitated by contemporary computer techniques, I have designed a new international and domestic airport terminal for Auckland, discussing the architectural approach of mega transportation architecture with pragmatic, conceptual, and visual communication points of view.

"In the concept of Māori creation history, it begins with Te Kore, the void of unlimited potential in which nothing exists. Before life, Te Kore is a state of chaos, abundant with possibilities; an unlimited potential for being. From there comes Te Pō, aeons of darkness and night. Finally, from Te Pō emerges Te Ao, the light and the world." This Art Piece is the author's understanding of this Transformation moment through the format of Resin Painting.
“When the sky father Ranginui and Earth mother Papatuanuku were set apart by the light, when light pierces the darkness and chaos, bringing vibrant colours, vibrant scenes, and the rhythm of life.” This Art Piece is the author's understanding of this Transformation moment through Resin Painting.
"In the center of the artwork is a murmuration of a large flock of birds, moving freely and singing with joy, tossing like waves between the two harbours of Auckland's Waitemata Harbour and Manukau Harbour, chasing the tide." This Art Piece is the author's understanding of this Transformation moment through Resin Painting.
"The flow of the tides around the place, the flow of the plane above place, the flow of people within place. For me, this is an energetic movement! And I want my architecture to capture that energy, even turn itself into the endless rhythm of flow."
"Capturing those rhythm of flow into line works." The author's sketch
“People of this lovely city of Auckland will take the Light Rail Train to the Airport’s Main Terminal entrance. A satellite system airport is welcoming them. In the Main Terminal, all the pragmatic services of an airport will be sorted: Baggage, Check-in, Custom, Immigration …… Together, a public “nest-like” centre is accommodating all the departure passengers, arrival passengers, and the wider public. Down to the underground level, Automatic People Mover (APM) system operate in between 2 satellite buildings and the main terminal, transferring passengers with high efficiency and convenience.” Airport Master Plan
"The roof as sky, the floor as ground, the services as stones in the midst of the tidal flow." Sectional View
Axonometric Diagram of the Main Airport Terminal
"The flow of people, within the airport." Axonometric Diagram of the pragamatic arrangement of the satellite system
Airport Rendered Plans
Airport Line Drawing Plans
"From the light to the darkness, and from darkness to light. The story of the land transformed into architectural narrative." Sectonal Drawing of the central NEST
Key Moment Sectional Model
Axonometric View
Long Perspective

Looking towards the future, evolving technology, architecture functionality, and higher exceptions of architecture experience are driving airport design in the direction of greater humanity, convenience, and intelligence. The thesis expects that in the near future, the terminal will achieve efficient and effective operation, a human-oriented passenger experience, and a beautiful and culturally integrated architectural image. Pushing the terminal to play an important leading role in promoting regional and urban development. For the city, for the people, and for the future!