forest-inspired terminal with indoor waterfall planned for bangkok airport

forest-inspired terminal with indoor waterfall planned for bangkok airport

DBALP — the architecture firm led by duangrit bunnag — has been selected to design a major new terminal building at bangkok’s suvarnabhumi airport. the scheme references thailand’s lush, vegetation-filled landscapes with a design that immerses passengers within a ‘forest’ environment. between the airport’s passenger and commercial buildings, the design team plans to construct a tropical setting that features a cascading waterfall.


all images and video courtesy of DBALP / duangrit bunnag architect limited



however, the design has proved to be somewhat controversial with some commenters noting apparent similarities with a project by japanese architect kengo kuma. duangrit bunnag has denied these claims, telling the standard, (via the bangkok post): ‘I didn’t copy anyone else’s work. those who follow my work will know that I created a similar image in my previous designs, such as for a hotel in sri lanka.’

DBALP suvarnabhumi airport terminal
exterior view of the proposed new terminal building at bangkok’s suvarnabhumi airport



the design itself comprises two modular structures, that measure 36×36 meters and 18×18 meters respectively. supported by distinctive wooden columns that appear as giant trees, these enclosures cover a total of 348,000 square meters. meanwhile, the indoor forest, which spans 16,132 square meters, is designed to be a ‘live demonstration of how human beings could inherit the natural tropical ecological system’.

DBALP suvarnabhumi airport terminal
giant tree-like columns support two modular structures



to realize the project, DBALP is working in collaboration with japanese firm nikken sekkei, as well as six other companies. plans for the new suvarnabhumi international passenger terminal were approved by the airport of thailand (AOT) board of directors, with tender documents now being drawn up.

DBALP suvarnabhumi airport terminal
the entrance to the terminal building

DBALP suvarnabhumi airport terminal
vegetation is found throughout the scheme

DBALP suvarnabhumi airport terminal
the scheme is defined by its dramatic columns

DBALP suvarnabhumi airport terminal
the tropical setting features a cascading waterfall

DBALP suvarnabhumi airport terminal
an aerial view of the site

DBALP suvarnabhumi airport terminal
the terminal building illuminated at night

  • I dont think Chinese architecture “Dougong” – interlocking structure is questionable to represent Thai, perhaps you can see the building in Bangkok. Since 250 years ago, there are many iconic architectures, a record of combination of oversea culture to Thai buildings. Even in the grand palace, Chakri Mahaprasat Throne Hall where King of Siam inspired European architecture in the colonial states and blended with Thai, Sino-Portugese buildings in Phuket, Italian Renaissance & Neoclassic buildings such as Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall and the abandoned Sathorn Unique. and actually, Thai population were mainly from Mon Khmer Lao Chinese and Malay, combined calling as Siamese. There is no wrong to combine other culture into Thai.

    The most importance is not only culture-representing appearance, but also the efficiency of the airport, the connection to the other terminals and the safety especially for the roof structure material.

  • Chinese…???…Perhaps Asian or ancient…???

    I agree, very beautiful and if done properly very ecologically sustainable and durable…

    Perhaps this is why the acient “Dugong” (斗拱) styles have been adapted and used by such as the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (et al) in his work like the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum, which is almost identical to this propose airport terminal…???

    Oxbow Designs
    started in the 1970s completed in 2005 with much pocket lining along the way

    fitting that the article above ends with this
    “with tender documents now being drawn up.”

  • It looks absolutely fantastic!

  • It looks extremely chinese……..


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