Rybczynski on the History of Airport Architecture

Witold Rybczynski provides an illustrated history of airport architecture on Slate [Slideshow].

Witold Rybczynski reviews the history of airports with some prominent examples of airport design, and concludes that after a string of spectacular and ambitious airports -- and some equally spectacular failures -- perhaps a utilitarian approach would be best.

"What should an airport look like?...Excitement and elegance have long since worn off air travel. People just want to get where they're going as quickly and painlessly as possible. The best you hope for is that you get through the security line quickly, your flight's on time, there's space for your bag in the overhead bin, and if you're really lucky, the adjacent seat is empty. Airports have become as ubiquitous-and about as glamorous-as bus stations. Perhaps that's really the new model. In the talented hands of a Piano or a Foster, the bus station will be light and airy, but the kind of theatricality shown by the first generation of airports now seems out of place."

Full Story: Gate Change

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95