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Aaron Fritsch: Visit the Future Today

A design by our own Aaron Fritsch has been shortlisted for the Fentress Global Challenge – a speculative, international design competition that asks its participants to reimagine the airport in the year 2075. Out of 110 entries, only 16 were selected to move on to the final round, where finalists will be considered for a juried prize in addition to a people’s choice award (determined by a tally of Facebook votes).

In many respects, Aaron’s design addresses the enduring problems with air travel that we deal with today – particularly, the tendency of airport design to elevate technical complexity and functional design over comfort of its users. “Typically, in an airport…it is ideal to be able to move from point A to point B in the most efficient manner as possible,” Aaron’s submission points out. “As a result, many airports have a tremendous amount of linear feet given over to corridors that contribute to unidirectional, static spaces.” But once you line these corridors with restaurants, retail and entertainment spaces, and departure areas, the corridors not only become congested, they also become noisy, stressful environments.

Aaron’s redesign of the Hong Kong International Airport alleviates this congestion and creates more relaxing spaces to fulfill current and future needs of passengers by developing a series of pods that elevate differentiated programmatic spaces above the terminal’s main path of travel. While the first pod type of the design meets familiar needs of entertainment/retail, a second addresses sustainability through saltwater conversion, carbon capturing, and air recycling. The third pod anticipates the needs of future space travelers, creating spaces in which they can train in zero gravity chambers, aerotrim gyroscopes, and buoyancy tanks. These wide range of uses create multiple environments within one larger framework that is the airport.

The redesign also makes room for the future by moving the terminal of the Hong Kong International Airport to the end of the island that it currently sits on. This leaves the current runways in place, while making room for Space-X style launch pads between them and the new terminal. The reconfiguration of the site also facilitates multimodal connections to Hong Kong’s urban center (by ferry and automobile) while also allowing passengers enjoying the quieter, upper levels of the pods to take in views of the mountains, the sea, and the space launches.

You can view and vote for Aaron’s submission here.

Learn more about Aaron here.