Among the current additions to Perth Airport’s expansion plan are new canopies on the approach to the international terminal. The floating, winged canopies are part of a significant makeover at the terminal which includes the construction of a new forecourt road, and drop-off and pick-up lanes with covered waiting areas.
The design by the Perth studio creates a dramatic entry statement that is synonymous with the airport's new identity, integrating an ensemble of functions in a simple undulating sweeping form.
The white folding form of the canopies – inspired by the lines and creases of folded paper aeroplanes – creates a series of fleeting wing-shaped canopies that shields passengers from the elements under its primary function as bus and taxi shelters.
The floating canopies stand like cloud cover, as an element with presence during both day and night, illuminated internally via long throw LEDs. The wrapping of a fabric-like skin over a circular profiled structural skeleton relates back to the historical fabric-winged aircraft of aviation’s early days.
The wing-shaped fabric canopies allowed for substantial spans and cantilevers which kept the frequency of pillars to a minimum, overcoming a number of challenges such as the impact of footings on existing services in ground and providing efficiency in cost compared to traditional post and sheet metal canopies of a similar stature. Being a modular design also supported obvious benefits of design efficiency and future extensions, a critical consideration for the airport.
A synergy of collaboration between architects, landscape and engineering specialists has ensured the realisation of this work of innovation in canopy design right down to the thoughtfulness in the detailing of junctions, waterproofing of the gentle sloped form and access to light fixtures within.