The Chhatrapatri Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2 designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill celebrated its opening late last week in Mumbai. India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with visiting dignitaries and representatives from the developer GVK, inaugurated the new terminal. The structure's design combines domestic and international services, reduces passenger walking distances, and adds 4.4 million square feet to accommodate the airport's 40 million passengers a year.
Here's some more details on the project:
"Inspired by the form of traditional Indian pavilions, the four-story terminal stacks a grand "headhouse," or central processing podium, on top of highly adaptable and modular concourses below. Rather than compartmentalizing terminal functions, three symmetrical concourses radiate outwards from a central processing core and are therefore easily reconfigured to "swing" between serving domestic flights or international flights.
All international and domestic passengers enter the terminal headhouse on the fourth floor, accessed from a sweeping elevated road. At the entrance, the lanes split, making room for wide drop-off curbs with ample space for traditional Indian departure ceremonies. From the moment of arrival, the terminal embraces travelers.
Above, the headhouse roof extends to cover the entire arrivals roadway, protecting passengers and their guests from Mumbai's heat and unpredictable monsoon weather. A 50-foot-tall glass cable-stayed wall—the longest in the world—opens to the soaring space of the check-in hall. The transparent facade also allows accompanying well-wishers, who must remain outside of the terminal due to Indian aviation regulations, to watch as their friends and family depart.
Although the terminal is four stories, interconnecting light slots and multi-story light wells ensure that light penetrates into the lower floors of the building, acting as a constant reminder of the surrounding city and landscape. At dusk, illuminated from within, the terminal glows like a sculpted chandelier.
The construction site of the new terminal building was located in close proximity to the existing terminal which had to remain fully operational during construction. This site requirement inspired the elongated X-shaped plan of the terminal, which could both mold around existing structures and incorporate modular designs to accommodate rapid and phased construction.
This innovative form also allows for the consolidation of important passenger processing, baggage handling, and retail/dining functions at the center of the terminal. On each floor, radiating piers permit the shortest possible walking distances from the center of the terminal to boarding areas, while also maximizing the terminal's perimeter for aircraft gates.
The terminal's roof—one of the largest in the world without an expansion joint—ensures further terminal flexibility. The long-span capabilities of the steel truss structure allow for the spacing of the thirty 130-foot columns to be far enough apart to not only give a feeling of openness to the large processing areas below but also to allow for maximum flexibility in the arrangement of ticket counters and other necessary processing facilities.
Terminal 2 uses a high-performance glazing system with a custom frit pattern to achieve optimal thermal performance and mitigate glare. Perforated metal panels on the terminal's curtain wall filter the low western and eastern sun angles, creating a comfortable day-lit space for waiting passengers, and responsive daylight controls balance outdoor and indoor light levels for optimal energy savings. Strategically-placed skylights throughout the check-in hall will reduce the terminal's energy usage by 23%."