inherent in the parameters of airport functionality is the need to eliminate all traces of landscape ecology. sites must be absolutely flat, devoid of standing water, and lacking vegetation, which can attract unwanted wildlife. not only do airports require a lack of ecological systems, spatially they require extremely expansive horizontal space, displacing large amounts of both ecological and urban program when sited close to a city. our goal in exploring the expansion of the libreville airport is to allow for the airport site to remain in proximity to the city without sacrificing the ecological and urban program that would potentially give richness to the project. by using landscape mediation techniques applied to the standard architectural object of the vault, the destructive characteristics of the airport, such as runoff and pollution, are mediated. this also provides an aesthetic, and rather uncharacteristically natural, appearance to tourists arriving in the airport. in response to the desire to negotiate ordered commonalities in difficult or varied landscapes and topographic conditions, we’ve created a system of catenary arches. the arches provide a framework for idiosyncratic programmatic conditions on specific terrain. programmatic conditions which could prove exceptional at providing useful case studies for this tool in that they require planar conditions, volumetric subdivisions and structural supports that work within a variagated and volatile ecosystem existing within gabon can be identified and implemented on a variety of site conditions.
Status: School Project
Location: Libreville, Gabon