Reinventing airspace: spectatorship, fluidity, intimacy


Airports are relatively recent architectural conceptions. Early airports, that appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century in Europe and in the United States, were merely open, spacious, grassy fields. They were built around their functional premise – letting aircrafts land and take off – and thus consisted, essentially, of a runway. Since then, the architecture of airports has gone a long way. In modern airports, functional design requirements are addressed alongside myriad technological, institutional, political and economical requirements that define the modern practice of air travel: airports nowadays “accommodate a growing number of facilities that have nothing to do with aviation”(Ibelings 1998).