Artistry Meets Sustainability at Kolkata Air Terminal

April 1, 2008

Poetry and artistry have inspired the design of Kolkata's new 40,000-square-meter domestic air terminal.  RMJM, supported by Sikka Associates, has been appointed to deliver the first phase of the project, which is designed to accommodate a peak passenger flow of 1800 per hour, while a second design phase will approximately double these figures.

Image: Courtesy of RMJM 

RMJM's vision for this major transport hub outshone the competition from a shortlist including Aéroports de Paris and HOK.  The design concept for the airport draws its inspiration from Kolkata's rich heritage of literary and artistic innovation. It revolves around an abstract reference to the writing of Asia's first Nobel laureate, Rabindranath Tagore of Bengal - a son of the region. Tagore was a poet, playwright, philosopher, composer, and artist. The graphic nature of his writing is visible as large scale patterns etched onto the underside of the main roof as well as in the landscaping across the forecourt ground. A number of mature trees will be retained on the site as a visual counterpoint to the building's linear shape.

Throughout the development of the terminal design, RMJM ensured that the facility reached the highest international standards for sustainability. Natural daylighting is maximized while cooling systems have been kept to a minimum. The form of the roof is also devised to harvest rainwater for landscape irrigation.

Ian Milne, a design director in RMJM's Hong Kong office, commented: "Our win, with Delhi-based Sikka Associates Architects, in the international architectural competition for Kolkata domestic terminal was a proud moment for everyone at RMJM. It is a remarkable opportunity for any architect to be given the chance to design such an important gateway to Kolkata, one of the world's great cities."

Construction is expected to start on the new terminal this summer.

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