A new terminal at Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport (TIA) will be "a first for a world airport," according to its architects. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) won a competition to design TIA's new Terminal 3 building, which will be able to adapt to change unlike any other.

"What we have learnt, with almost 30 years of airport experience, is that, amongst all building typologies, the modern airport is the most susceptible to change," says founder of RSHP Richard Rogers. "Change frequently compromises the original design, so much that it becomes an almost archaeological experience to rediscover the original concept."

RSHP, known for buildings such as the Leadenhall Building in London, UK, and the new 425 Park Avenue in New York, US, has mixed elements from two of its previous airport designs to inform the design of TIA T3.

RSHP says the new terminal brings together the "flexibility of the single span, loose fit volume" of Heathrow's Terminal 5 and the "warmth and human qualities of the flowing interior spaces" of Barajas Terminal 4. The design is also said to be inspired by the landscapes, seas, nature and life of Taiwan.

The aim is to make TIA a leading hub airport in the Asia Pacific region and to make the process of using an airport less forbidding for passengers. The project brief required that T3 have the annual capacity for 45 million passengers by 2025 and for 86 million by 2042.

RSHP's proposal saw off competition from Foster + Partners and UN Studio. It includes the delivery of a new terminal building, boarding gates, concourses, a multi-function building and transport infrastructure. The main terminal building is designed to "embrace change," with interior spaces that are adaptable regardless of their shape or size. It will also connect to the existing Terminals 2 and 3 to create a "mega terminal."

"We have created a rationally planned and easy-to-use airport that will be characterised by a flowing sequence of beautifully lit, acoustically comfortable and well-proportioned spaces," says Partner at RSHP Ivan Harbour. "It will be an airport where the drama of the spatial experience is shared by all, at all times."

Harbour says the the open spaces within the new terminal will have an urban quality similar to that of a city center and that the terminal will form the heart of the Taoyuan Aerotropolic Plan, of which it is the flagship project.

TIA's Terminal 3 is due to be completed in 2020. Meanwhile, take a look at the video overview below.

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