The New Integrated Terminal Building at Guwahati International Airport, being designed by DFI along with AECOM, is set to be an ode to the ancient yet reinvigorated spirit of North East and India as a whole. Principal architect Anand Sharma shares with us how the ongoing project aspires to provide seamless and state-of the-art infrastructure for generations to come.

What are some of the inspirations behind the design?

Anand Sharma: The structure has taken inspiration from Icarus – the mythological figure who dared to fly. The majestic centrepiece is symbolic and looms over the departure concourse, its arms outstretched as it reaches out to the skies. The floating form doubles up as the canopy for the drop-off zone. Origami served as a guide and
a tool as we delved into the evolution of form – which finds expression in the terminal roof, the flooring patterns, the column cladding, the theme walls, and even the signage design. Lastly, India, a land of diversity, finds coherence in the design of the airport. We aimed to recreate this experience for the travellers, extending it beyond books and handicraft emporiums. Spaces have been allocated for the artisans to sit and produce right at the airport, encouraging interaction with visitors.seamless and state-of the-art infrastructure for generations to come.

 

How will the project address sustainability?

Sharma: Designed with 4-star GRIHA rating parameters, the focus on sustainability was imbibed right at the inception stage, when a conscious attempt was made to interweave the built-form with the outdoors. The indoor forest is a physical manifestation of this thought: it is separated by a glass wall from the larger outdoor
forest, fitting in like a tongue-in-groove with the terminal building. The car park structures are designed to be covered with photovoltaic panels that generate almost 500 kW of solar energy. Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) wraps
around the façade’s tricky and smooth wide expanses, facilitating daylight penetration and visual uniformity. The use of terracotta tiles references the architecture of fort-like citadels and imparts stability. Terrazzo flooring has been employed in the interiors for its versatility and playfulness, while the use of granite ensures steadiness. Aluminium origami panels endow relief, and sintered stone is used for wall and column cladding.

Does the design project a strong regional identity?

Sharma : The tea gardens are a mark of reverence to the context, and serve as an inspiration for landscape design. They are positioned at the front yard along with a water cascade. The landscape weaves a story of its own and clings to the departing and arriving passengers as they walk through it before boarding their pick-up vehicles. The drive up to the departure level is reminiscent of the first climb up a mountain road after the tiring and relentless plains.

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