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The 24hr Terminal

Part 2 Project 2010
Matthew Martoo
Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia
The architecture of an airport terminal is far more than the space, materials and finishes. It is a network of services feeding the building's functional areas. This network is supported by a structural framework into which all necessary activities are located.

The current Brisbane Airport is operational around the clock, but during late night to early morning, many spaces become wasted and unused. We can choose to push airline companies as hard as possible to operate around the clock, or we can respond to the need for a 24 hour terminal.
The airport - user relationship of the existing Airport in Brisbane focuses primarily on supporting the departure and arrival of flights, as opposed to supporting the users of the airport terminal. Consequently, the airport cannot adapt to changes in user requirements, especially during times when there is no departing or arriving flights.
The proposed airport - user relationship responds to the variety of user requirements and therefore provides spaces that adapt to the changing needs of different users. The question that then needs to be answered is how can you provide spaces that respond to the limitless possible activities that users require within a 24 hour airport terminal?
Interchangeable, expanding and contracting spaces are the answer. These adaptable spaces house the varying activities within the airport and are continuously redefined, expanding and contracting to allow adjacent spaces to be born and others to die.

Matthew Martoo


In 2010 this design studio focused on a group of projects associated with the redevelopment of the Brisbane Airport. The 2009 Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Limited (BAC) Master plan is pursuing proposals for the development of a second runway, which will eventually lead to the development of a range of new facilities as the airport expands to meet the growing demands of South East Queensland. Students were asked to explore and propose one of these facilities to be the topic of their design project.

Pitch report:

The first stage asked students to explore the context, generate and develop ideas for appropriate projects, and prepare a report that explains these explorations and developments, but which also puts forward their own position in respect to their preferred project/brief and preferred thematic exploration. Students used their understanding of the site and context, and their understanding of appropriate exemplars and typologies, to substantiate a choice of project and theme. This was in the form of a ‘Pitch’ to an imagined client group.

Design project:

The second stage asked students to develop design proposals for their project/brief within their allocated thematic group. By the end of the semester students had developed their design to a ‘sketch design’ stage, and to a professional standard of presentation. The sketch design was required to deal with a number of expectations, within a number of design fields.

· Addressing the master plan (or an alternative strategic proposition)

· Addressing building typology

· Addressing the allocated Theme (Global, Sustainable, Fabrication, Urban)

· Addressing the fundamental processes of architectural design

The success of proposals depended to some extent on how willing students were to ‘go out on a limb’ with their thinking and design experimentation. This studio rewarded those who took a risk with their design; those who attempted the complex and difficult. As well as evidence of imagination and creative speculation, the studio also promoted the evidence of testing, evaluation, and discrimination.


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