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Old July 17th, 2004, 12:50 AM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
Not so sure whether it's the final colour scheme as it's just a rendering......
They do look good on the airport.
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Old July 19th, 2004, 02:46 AM   #142
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Old July 19th, 2004, 03:37 AM   #143
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Q+A with Teng Wai Man (Continued)

Coming back to the question of airport architecture, what is your criticism?

It's not so much a criticism of the airport itself as it is of the way it is discussed. A building cannot exist in a bubble. It's place in time goes beyond the rhetoric of architectural discourse. It upsets me when airports are talked about as if they were a private discourse on geometry and form. I contend that you cannot talk about Changi without also talking about aviation history. You cannot discuss Singapore's airport without understanding a little bit about Singapore. A building merely reflects its larger reality. And the better it is at reflecting this reality - of connecting people, place and time - the more interesting it becomes. Look at the architectural icons we know: the Opera House in Sydney or the Eiffel Tower. They became symbols of nationhood and technology not because the architectural community or the politicians dictated it so. They became important because they mirrored a reality that was already out there.

What about the making of the modern architectural icon, buildings designed to become symbols of regeneration and growth?

I think the jury is still out on those types of projects. They may have received considerable press, but I would argue that the true test is time. In an era of media hype, we are too quick to attribute greatness. This is not a critique of the buildings themselves nor the forces that created them. But something other than the architect or politician will decide their place in history.

When we set out to create Changi we had no idea how big it would become. This has not been - in all honesty - a result of an architectural discourse. It's been a process of election, a truly democratic decision. People have decided this airport has a place in their hearts.

But this decision has been artificial in one sense. Hasn't Changi been voted to its place through polls carried out by travel magazines of its readers?

In the beginning, yes - and we took it all with a pinch of salt. But the momentum of Changi's success has been tremendous. If you look at the list of accolades there is little doubt that not one but many groups think that Changi does what it does extremely well.

But really, what I am talking about is its bond with Singaporeans - which is a separate audience altogether. Changi has earned a place in their hearts, not just the frequent travellers. In my opinion that will be its true legacy - that it is a symbol of a nation.

It's been said that Changi Airport is functional. What is your response to that?

And so it is. It functions extremely well.

So what do you think makes it architecturally significant?

That it does its job well and does it in a creative way; that it sets standards with which others are forced to reckon. That it has grown organically and eloquently and managed to hold on - after 20 years in existence - to its design coherence. I think that our truest achievement is that we have given Singaporeans a building that they can be proud of. It gives us a sense of national pride and optimism. The airport has transcended function and become an icon. How many buildings in Asia can you name that have done that?

Surely Changi's success is due to its service standards?

Yes. And the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore does an amazing job of keeping those standards high. But that's not all. Changi's design is part of those standards. It reflects them. It amplifies them. Whether we are designing directional signs or planning a new terminal, we ask ourselves again and again: "How will this be used? How will the passenger see this? Will this be a memorable experience?" The building is like a glove that fits the hand that welcomes the visitor. Try giving a handshake with an oven mitt (laughs).
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Old July 20th, 2004, 04:30 AM   #144
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Old July 20th, 2004, 09:30 PM   #145
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What were your first thoughts when Terminal 2 opened?

To be honest - and few architects will admit this about their work - it left me with a sense of awe, bordering on terror. You rarely see in your mind's eye the full effect of what you have created. All I could think at the time: 'My God. This is huge!' The scale was bewildering.

Were there criticisms of the building?

Of course. There were those who declared it TOO big and empty. But in a sense, they missed the point. In T2 we created a canvas, not a portrait. All too often we expect a building on opening day to have that lived-in feel. T2 took its time but it's there now. It has matured with the years. It has lent itself to change. The edges have softened. This building that seemed cold and uninviting on first encounter was saying the exact opposite. It was asking you to leave an imprint.

What were your inspirations at the time when T2 was on the drawing board?

Let me first say that I dislike trends. When the interior designers for T2 proposed stylised traveller palms, I said 'no!' I look for a timeless quality in architecture, the coming together of space and light. The building is a stage set for people, not an exercise in High Art or Pastiche, screaming for attention. The books I read as a student were Pattern Language and Places for People, which were about the integration of elements that make up the environment - landscaping, seating, handrails - for a setting in which the needs of the individual are paramount.

I recall students of architecture in the 1980s rushing out to buy the Charles Jencks' book on Postmodernism…

(laughs) Yes. There were pressures to be resisted. Postmodernism is like the Disco of architecture. We are a little embarrassed now to admit that we enjoyed Saturday Night Fever.

Did you give in to Postmodernism? Just a little, perhaps?

(laughs) No... not really. It was never my thing. I admired Kenzo Tange and Arthur Erickson. I was excited by the spatial gymnastics of John Portman - inspired by the restraint of Leandro Locsin.
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 10:05 PM   #146
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old July 26th, 2004, 11:05 PM   #147
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Coming back to the Airport, what do you think of the new airports in the region - in particular the ones in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong? What can we learn from them?

They are excellent buildings. And they teach us much about the integration of technology and architecture, and the drive to humanise the airport. They also demonstrate that as designers, we need to take onboard a whole new set of issues. Airport design has become more complex.

For instance?

Green issues, energy simulations, intelligent facades that work with the climate. Complex roof systems that filter daylight collect water and act as solar collectors. These are part of the bigger agenda of the 21St century. At ADD we have acquired these skills or are working with people who are experts in their fields.

What about the dramatic roofs of these buildings?

That's not new and certainly over-hyped. Airports have always been metaphors. The media makes much of fancy roofs because they make for great photographs and captions. I think the real innovations are harder to photograph. It's harder to photograph simplicity and clarity.

Airports today are trying to be simpler in layout. Designers went the wrong way in the 1960s and 1970s with complex movement routes and opaque planning. The real challenge I think is to keep it simple. Not so simple that it is boring, of course.

If none of this is new, why haven't we seen it in Changi?

If you are talking about technology, much of it is invisible. Information technology for instance has made our buildings smarter. T2 had an advantage over T1, as will T3 over T1 and T2. If you refer to questions of clarity, I think you will find that Changi made that a part of its agenda in the 1970s with T1, long before it became fashionable to say so. But if you are referring to metaphors of form, this goes beyond the simple question of how an airport looks.

It is also a question of how it works, how easy it is to maintain, how expensive the technology is that goes into making these elaborate roofs. An airport is as much a reflection of its users as it is of the designers, and even more a reflection of its owners and operators. In the past, there was skepticism (amongst our clients) of doing things for architectural effect - which was I think justified after problems with recent designer terminals elsewhere in the world.

We've taken Changi - its many extensions and renovations since it opened in 1981 - one step at a time. Look at some of the concept proposals for Terminal 2 Extension in 1991: they were more cutting-edge than Terminal 1 Expansion (completed in 2000). We can only go as far as we are permitted. Sometimes far too much credit is given to designers.

So what changed with Terminal 1 Expansion?

Our clients agreed to push the frontier that little bit further. We are all more confident of the way in which building form and service delivery converge so there is greater room for exploration. The project has been about creating an experience of engineered quality.

Does it signify a shift in design approach?

Not in the sense that the experience should be people-centred. And that means having a building that can deliver a high standard of comfort in a manner that is easy to manage and maintain. If you are looking for the radical in Changi, you will not find it. It's been a process of evolution more than revolution.

But yes, we are trying to bring in more light, which is the key to creating an experience that is more humane. It adds depth and variety. Daylight enlivens, animates and clarifies. The humanisation of the airport begins with creating a sense of clarity. As a passenger you want views of parked aircraft - which is reassuring - and you need a sense of where you are in the larger airport complex.

Clarity is the first and hardest rule of airport design. There are so many demands on a passenger's attention that making the experience lucid and coherent is an enormous challenge. It begins with keeping circulation and movement options simple. You try to give the traveller a sense of where he is, all the time. Signs can only go so far because so much of what we know comes from our understanding of the whole. We deduce our location within the larger whole by what we can see. This means a passenger needs clear line-of-sight and views to the outside as often as possible. These principles are already in place with T1 and T2. What you are seeing with T1 E is the opening up of the building to the outside and a simultaneous refinement of the inside.

With the interiors there is now a smoother design statement in which everything is integrated, a deliberate attempt to break free from the 'air-con-and-light-fittings-in-the-ceiling' approach. These elements are now on the walls, on the floors, tucked into columns. You experience the building as something that is larger than the sum of its parts.
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Old July 29th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #148
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old July 29th, 2004, 12:00 PM   #149
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Looking at the overviews of the whole terminal "campus" in its completed state, I can't help but wonder: where will the parking lots/garages for T3 be at?

Just a number I picked up recently on this subject: Gatwick, at around 30 million annual passengers, has 45 000 parking spaces for cars...
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Old July 30th, 2004, 02:16 PM   #150
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The parking lots at Terminal 3 will be at its basement levels. Terminal 3 utilises basement parking whereas Terminals 1 & 2 utilises both surface and multi level parking facilities. This information is found in the book that huaiwei gets his scanned pictures from.
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Old July 30th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ignoramus
The parking lots at Terminal 3 will be at its basement levels. Terminal 3 utilises basement parking whereas Terminals 1 & 2 utilises both surface and multi level parking facilities. This information is found in the book that huaiwei gets his scanned pictures from.
I didnt see the information about the carparking, but yeah, I didnt see any visible car park areas either.

Btw, the surface carpark is only for Terminal 1 actually, while the multi-level ones are for Terminal 2. Seems like we have advanced over time from surface to multi level to underground?
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old July 30th, 2004, 05:11 PM   #152
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Cool!
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Old July 31st, 2004, 09:34 AM   #153
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I distinctly remember reading about it in that book. Try looking closer? Anyways basement parking is the way to go, no more long walks to the terminal. The departure hall is just 2 stories up. And parking facilities above ground are an eyesore.
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Old August 1st, 2004, 07:37 AM   #154
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Checking out at the departure hall...





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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old August 1st, 2004, 01:21 PM   #155
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Renderings always make a place look messy......
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Old August 1st, 2004, 05:39 PM   #156
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Messy?

Well like most folks here, we are just wondering just how this place is going to look like with a roof like that.....I dont know how successful renderings can be in simulating it!
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old August 1st, 2004, 05:48 PM   #157
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The roof looks really wierd, like trees' leaves.

Glass with sunshades again or what???
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Old August 1st, 2004, 06:15 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redstone
The roof looks really wierd, like trees' leaves.

Glass with sunshades again or what???
I dont know....looks almost like a wiremesh with glass panels fixed in the mid-point of two edges and letting the whole thing rotate!
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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old August 1st, 2004, 06:19 PM   #159
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Wah, so creatvie?Wierd?Can't think of a word to describe it unless we have clear renderings.

Just hope it isn't like Esplanade.Glass roof covered by sunshades.
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Old August 2nd, 2004, 09:21 AM   #160
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Getting your way to the gate....







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"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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