Airport of the Future 2021

Global Student Competition Shortlist Announced

Fentress Architects is excited to announce the ten shortlisted entries for the 2021 Fentress Global Challenge (FGC), which garnered more than 80 entries from students around the globe. FGC is an annual international student design competition launched in 2011 by Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA that encourages and rewards innovative design in public architecture. This year’s competition challenged students to envision airport mobility in the year 2100.

Students were able to choose between siting the new terminal at an existing airfield—such as at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) or Beijing Capital International (PEK)—and a yet undeveloped site—such as in Atafu, Tokelau or Canillo, Andorra.

Entrants explored various modes of transport, including pods for intra-airport transport. Other methods of inter-airport transport proposed included mag-lev cars, drones, hyperloops, hydrofoils, and air-rails. Additionally, several different types of aircraft were studied including anti-gravity, vertical take off, rockets, and spaceships.

Entries were evaluated based upon five criteria, including technology and sustainability. Some submssions specifically envisoned airports able to create their own biofuel from algae and symbiotic bacteria. Others created floating structures that sought to restore coral reefs and ocean ecosystems. Most designs derived shape and form from biomimicry and parametric equations. Many also incorporated gardens, greenhouses, photovoltaic cells, and wind. Artificial intelligence helped enhance several of functions and addressed issues such as COVID-19 and terrorism. Furthermore, 3D printing and modular structures were two of several new building techniques explored.

The 2021 Shortlist

  • AJQ GROUP – Qian Yu, Alexandra Terekhova, Joseph Cook – University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria
  • Urban Travelator – Dinel Meyepa – Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Astra – Jonathan Liang, Martin He – Columbia University, New York City, USA
  • Decentralized Airport – Tam Dinh – University of Architecture Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Ferreras + Osiberu – Carmina Ferreras, Oluwarotimi Osiberu – North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  • Adaptive Antifragile – Gee Yang Tan – Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
  • The Future Cell – Assem Attia – UACEG, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • AILY – Liyang Wang – Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • Synergistic Airport – Baoqi Xiao – University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • The Heathrow Hive – Jack Hastie – University Collge London, UK

A jury of renowned airport architects, directors, planners, and scholars will judge the shortlist virtually. Winners will be announced December 1, 2021. First, Second, and Third Place will recieve a total of $20,000 USD in cash prizes. Additionally, two People’s Choice Awards will be given, which carry a $1,000 USD cash prize, Voting for People’s Choice has already begun on the Fentress Architects Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/FentressArch/.

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