Sustainability Taking Flight
This research project, Sustainability Taking Flight, explores the paradoxical relationship between the aviation industry and environmentally sustainable architecture. Developed around the middle of the twentieth century as an expression of modernism, today the continual growth of air travel makes it one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse emissions. This makes the airport itself both an expression of the modern and globalized and a celebration of a manifestation identifying the unsustainable. This research portfolio assumes that sustainable architecture has become an idea of paramount importance, and therefore uses the airport as a tool to examine what constitutes sustainability for an airport complex. Through literature, design evaluations and design explorations this research portfolio attempts to develop a design for an airport which communicates and embodies environmental responsive outcomes. Technology, programme analysis, art and educational design processes become unlikely contributors toward the sustainable design of the airport as well as applications of passive and site responsive design techniques, biophillic design principles and inclusion of local historical influences. Despite the paradox of the aviation industry and environmental sustainability, the airport complex can successfully embody at least some aspects of environmental sustainability through careful design development of the whole complex, rather than just the building in isolation.