Fentress unveils shortlist for Airport of the Future competition

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Fentress Architects has unveiled the shortlist for the 2021 Fentress Global Challenge (FGC) Airport of the Future competition, which garnered more than 80 entries from students around the world.

FGC is an annual international student design competition launched in 2011 by Curtis Fentress that encourages and rewards innovative design in public architecture. This year’s competition challenged students to envision airport mobility in the year 2100.

Students were able to choose between siting the new terminal at an existing airfield, such as at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) or Beijing Capital International (PEK), or an undeveloped site, such as in Atafu, Tokelau, or Canillo, Andorra.

Various modes of transportation were explored including pods for intra-airport transport, mag-lev cars, drones, hyperloops, hydrofoils, and air-rails. Additionally, several different types of aircraft were studied including anti-gravity, vertical take-off, rockets, and spaceships.

Entries were evaluated base upon five criteria including technology and sustainability. Some submissions envisioned airports able to create their own biofuel from algae and symbiotic bacteria. Others created floating structures that sought to restore coral reefs and ocean ecosystems. Most designs derived shape and form from biomimicry and parametric equations.  Gardens, greenhouses, photovoltaic cells and wind were also incorporated into many designs. Artificial intelligence helped enhance functions and addressed issues such as Covid-19 and terrorism. Several new building techniques were explored including 3D printing and modular structures. The 10 entries selected for the 2021 shortlist are:

  • Urban Travelator – Dinel Meyepa – Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Astra – Jonathan Liang, Martin He – Columbia University, New York City, USA
  • Decentralized Airport – Tam Dinh – University of Architecture Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • AILY – Liyang Wang – Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • Ferreras + Osiberu – Carmina Ferreras, Oluwarotimi Osiberu – North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  • AJQ GROUP – Qian Yu, Alexandra Terekhova, Joseph Cook – University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria
  • Adaptive Antifragile – Gee Yang Tan – Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
  • The Future Cell – Assem Attia – UACEG, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Synergistic Airport – Baoqi Xiao – University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • The Heathrow Hive – Jack Hastie – University College London, UK

The shortlist will be judged virtually by a jury of renowned airport architects, directors, planners and scholars. Winners will be announced December 1, 2021.  A total of US$20,000 will be awarded in cash prizes to first, second and third Place. Additionally, two People’s Choice Awards will be given, which carry a US$1,000 cash prize.

Voting for People’s Choice has already begun on the Fentress Architects Facebook Page, which can be viewed here.

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Dan originally joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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