Kempegowda International Airport pays a tribute to the Garden City

Kempegowda International Airport pays a tribute to the Garden City

Designed by New York-based SOM Architects, the new 255,661 sq m Terminal 2 at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport pays a tribute to the Garden City.Airports are the first point of contact for both domestic and international tourists visiting a city. In a way,they set an expectat...

Designed by New York-based SOM Architects, the new 255,661 sq m Terminal 2 at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport pays a tribute to the Garden City.Airports are the first point of contact for both domestic and international tourists visiting a city. In a way,they set an expectation and create an impression in the minds of people about the city. Designing such spaces can be a complex affair as the designer has to address a global perception without losing sight of the city’ roots and heritage. Terminal 2 (T2), the new terminal at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport, manages to address these concerns in a seamless way.Passengers get a unique experience because of T2's size and thoughtful design. With 90 check-in counters,it attempts to make check-ins quicker. The security check areas are also simple to use. The two-level domestic and international retail spaces, as well as the lounge areas, are designed to offer picturesque views of the surrounding vegetation. Nineteen boarding gates (for Code C comparable aircraft) are accommodated on the L-shaped piers, which are moved out from the main complex to allow plenty of area for mobility. In the interiors, the terminal is covered in engineered bamboo influenced by traditional Indian cane weaving, giving it a modern yet timeless appearance.The guiding principles‘Terminal in a Garden’,‘Sustainability’, ‘Technology’ and ‘Art & Culture’ are the four guiding ideas that have impacted the design and architecture of T2. The passenger experience at T2 is envisioned to be like taking a walk in the garden, paying homage to the Garden City. The 10,000+ sq m of green walls, hanging gardens and outdoor gardens that passengers will pass through were entirely created in India using local technology.Bengaluru Airport has already set a standard for sustainability thanks to its campus-wide use of 100 per cent renewable energy. The design of T2 incorporates sustainability considerations and has set a number of standards. Based on sustainability initiatives, the US Green Building Council(USGBC) has recognised T2 as the largest terminal in the world to be pre-certified with a Platinum LEED rating before beginning operations. The seamless passenger journey made possible by Digi Yatra serves as an example of how technology and innovation are fundamental to the terminal. It is powered by a number of integrated technology elements that make it customer-focused, productive and forward-thinking.In a terminal, every human emotion is on full show. The subject that links all the commissioned artwork at T2 to convey thisis Naurasa. The artworks are on display in key areas, acting as beacons that encourage travellers to stop, think, and enjoy themselves. They reflect the larger Indian ethos as well as the heritage and culture of Karnataka. Of more than 300 open submissions, 60 works of art by 43 artists were chosen.All these characteristics give T2 a unique status as a terminal that is contemporary yet grounded in culture and an airport that provides all travellers with a remarkable ‘destination’ experience.An ode to the Garden CityT2 is a first-of-its-kind ‘Terminal in a Garden’ and makes the airport an ideal extension of Bengaluru’s green aesthetics. Passengers are intended to feel as though they are strolling through a garden as they approach the terminal and the area surrounding it. They will be treated to a visual feast of greens from the moment they enter the airport site via the Main Access Road (MAR) until they enter T2 and then board their aircraft at the piers. They will encounter greenery like never before thanks to the 10,235 sq m of green walls that surround the terminal, the hanging gardens that descend from the roof of the building on the bronze veils and bells suspended from the ceiling, the green lagoons inside the building, and the extensive forest belt area between the terminal and boarding piers.The beautiful green environment near T2 has 620 endemic plants, 3,600+ plant species, 150 palm species, 7,700 transplanted trees, 100 types of lilies, 96 species of lotus, 180 rare, endangered and threatened species, as well as 10 ecological niches. Two to three degrees cooler than its surroundings, the landscape around the terminal preserves a microclimate. For both departing and arriving passengers, the flora and fauna, skylight filtered through the delicate bamboo latticework, and indoor waterfalls inspired by the streams of Karnataka all contribute to a sensory and rich transit experience.Invoking sustainabilityThe terminal's bamboo interiors and lush gardens not only enhance its beauty but are crucial components of T2's sustainability pillar. In India, for the first time, engineered bamboo has been used because it is resistant to fire and lasts long, besides which the gardens and forest cover naturally clean the air. Together, daylight harvesting and solar panels save 24.9 per cent of energy.The long-term sustainability plan includes rainwater harvesting, six major rainwater-fed ponds with 413 million litre of water to meet the needs of the airport, and multipurpose lagoons where pollutants are naturally cleaned. The airport's sustainability practices are further strengthened by enhanced indoor air quality strategies like entryway systems and interior cross-contamination prevention, as well as treated reverse osmosis (RO) water used for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.T2 has been pre-certified by the USGBC with the Platinum LEED rating prior to the start of operations. In the future, the integrated solid waste management plant that will be built will turn biodegradable waste into fuel and manure, moving the airport one step closer to eliminating waste going to landfills.A display of art and cultureWith its insightfully curated art and décor elements that are part of its Art Programme, T2 aims to be a visual delight for all passengers. The program has been curated by the art team at the airport around two themes: Karnataka's rich heritage and culture and Naurasa, or nine emotions, from Bharata'sNatayshastra. These two themes are captured in 60 artworks. These artworks promise to be awe-inspiring, from KrishnarajChonat's copper sculpture suspended at the boarding piers to Gaatha and MA Rauf's Bidriwall art and leather puppets by Foley Design and Gunduraju to Dhaatu and Anupama Hosker's wood puppets suspended from the ceiling near the boarding gates. The Art Programme at T2 focuses on showcasing Karnataka's cultural diversity and distinctive art forms, followed by other South Indian art forms. These 60 works of art have been commissioned from 43 artists from Karnataka and all over India.With its memorable visual impressions, sustainable practices, and technology, T2 is designed to provide the highest possible level of passenger experience while making it an unforgettable destination.

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