Time to Take Off …

Air travel has changed the way we view the world, and whilst we don’t fly by blimp anymore (history will provide for good reason), the aeroplane has become our standard go to when taking to the skies.

Slowly and surely, we’ve seen a decrease in the glamour of old attached to air travel and arguably, its airports have been the breeding ground for function over aesthetics for so long.

Well, dear weary travelers, the time has come: head straight to the arrivals gate for interesting, fun new airport design.  The past decade has seen radical improvements in the design of these gateways to our cities.  Gone (or will be!) the ghastly concrete jungle of airports past, gone are the long muted grey corridors and gone are the banal rows of chairs piled with travelers.

These spaces can be a canvas to showcase to the world the ability of its host city to design, both functionally and aesthetically.    Airports are moving forward, using colour in abundance adding fun and innovation, geared toward both recreational and business travelers.

It turns out that over 5 billion people graced the floors of airports the world over in 2011 – that’s 5 billion of our Earth’s meager 7 billion strong population.

Airports have realized that in order to succeed in a growing and adapting world, they need to work with the people and their current environment.  Thought has been given to the needs of travelers, be they business or pleasure.   Airports are no longer just the gateway for travel, they’ve in part become the destination, and an integral part of travel.

Airports have become the innovators.   Through employing relaxation methods such as  an ‘oasis’ scheme, providing a home away from home, sunlight, blending indoors and outdoors, exercise and introducing entertainment such as shopping, golf courses and live performance stages, there appears to be little need to even board the plane!

The corporate travelers, younger generation and tech-heads haven’t been forgotten, private individual work stations, sleep chambers, high-speed wi-fi internet and conference centres all getting the nod for inclusion.

Some of the world’s most beautiful airports have been erected over the past few years, however two about to take off are:

Manilas Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Philippines

We reported back in November about the patriotic transform-faceted design guru Kenneth Cobonpue’s green-lighted plan to take to transform the Manilas Ninoy Aquino International Airport, after it receiving the rather dismal honour of being named the worlds worst airport.

View the blog post here.

View Kenneth Cobonpue’s collection available at KE-ZU here.

Air France business lounge, Charles-de-Gaulle Airport, Paris

The busy international thoroughfare that is the Air France business lounge at Charles-de-Gaulle has been overtaken by Brandimage, in partnership with Bernhardt Design creative Noe Duchafour-Lawrence (Noe’s Corvo Chair for Bernhardt Design is available at KE-ZU, information here).

The concept for the design was reinterpreting of the language of plants, and in doing so, thwarting the dreariness of travel and airports. The design solution places you at the start of a re-imagined garden path, surrounded by live plants and incorporating furniture selection in a placement that recreates the natural world.

Flying the French flag and finding its way into the business lounge is the iconic Tulip Chair by Pierre Paulin for KE-ZU stockist Artifort.  Dating back to the 1960’s the Tulip Chair is as relevant today as it was at its inception.

Versions of the Tulip Chair are available at KE-ZU.  For more information please click here.

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