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Airport Caravanserai


The need for airports to support a burgeoning development plan and economic growth could see 70+ new airports in China in the next 30 years. Rapid growth has meant that existing areas of development can now be re-considered with a view to sustainable futures.

The site is close to the main central areas of Shanghai adjacent to the coast, on the site of a container deport, it brings the notion of the container trading depot into a new use category, exchanging its wasteland unformity into a vibrant transport interchange combining sea, and air travel.
The main infrastructure links are already in place, whilst the additional rapid transportation is easily extened to existing added at ground level.

Sustainability / energy

Turbines /pinwheels within the skin of the carpark topiary, and the entrance façade generate enough energy from the waste air movement of airplane landings and movement, corralling the air, and insulating the surrounding area from noise pollution. The runway surface responds to the pressure generated by the surface movements to generate electricity. Neo fluorescent systems and solar roadway systems augment the directional surface lighting installations. Induction loop lanes charge the local vehicles used at the airport.

The concept

The concept considers what a new kind of territory or state could be if one took the notion of duty free areas to their logical conclusion, for example, the great summer sales events at Dubai International which people throng just to go shopping could form a model for an airside area which is a destination.
What if this was part part of a network of independent free trade areas? Each a part of sovereign corporation and each with it’s own hotels, leisure and retail offers thus creating a self financing enterprise and a net contributor to local development.

The rationale

If one travelled from resort state to another and never left the airport, a new form of tourism or business construct would be created, a place to exact exchange with a new set of rules and requirements.


The soil resulting from the ground works would, where possible be incorporated into the build the monumental rammed earth and rapid prototyped interlocking elements would principally be made on site .

Mass transport leaves in it’s wake large areas of city conurbation, a deserted wasteland of scattered buildings and illegible constructs. Container cities take up vast areas of the city by some of its best resources of water.
The projects aims to address this through the creation of a resort, a pleasure garden an airport destination which is itself the destination and an identifiable landscape intervention for air travel; the garden.

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