Airport expansion goes green with intricate programmable exterior
With projects like the Jewel Changi and Harbin Airport, there's a growing crop of airports lately that put the focus on comfort and sustainable design. MVRDV's Czech Lanterns continues this trend and will extend an airport in the Czech Republic with lush greenery and intricate facades that incorporate solar power and satellite images of the country.
MVRDV's extension of the Václav Havel Airport in Prague will consist of three buildings. One will serve as a security area, with business and VIP lounges, while the second building will designed to be as flexible as possible and will likely support the airport's handling needs. The third building will host a conference venue and hotel atop a parking structure.
All three will be constructed using glued laminated timber (glulam) timber joists, which will support lightweight hollow concrete floors. The buildings will be wrapped in glazing, which will be printed with green satellite images of the Czech Republic, visible on both the roofs from above and the ceilings from inside. The printed glass will incorporate programmable lighting, allowing the buildings to display information on various current events around the country, while photovoltaic glass sections will also reduce the draw on the grid. In addition to the buildings themselves, MVRDV will plant large amounts of vegetation throughout the site.
"Most airport experiences these days have become detached from any sense of place, or any sense of control for the traveler," said MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. "At Prague this will soon be different. As you pass through security you will feel surrounded by the greenness of the Czech landscape – in the ceiling, which shows its green landscapes and in the courtyards nearby, which host plants that are recognizable from the Czech biotope. The experience will give a sense of calm and control... a moment to feel grounded, just before you take off. Coming back to the Czech Republic it gives a sense of return, with the three Czech Lanterns guiding you home from afar."
Czech Lanterns is being developed in collaboration with Netherlands Airport Consultants and was selected following an architecture competition. We've no word yet on when it's expected to be completed.