enter projects weaves fluid rattan interiors of SOM-designed kempegowda airport

enter projects weaves fluid rattan interiors of SOM-designed kempegowda airport

som + enter projects land in india

 

Hufton + Crow captures new interior images of the completed Kempegowda International Airport Terminal 2, designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and Enter Projects Asia. The ambitious project has taken shape in Bengaluru, India to introduce a revolutionary and sculptural approach to airport interiors. The exterior structure by SOM is occupied by undulating rattan interior installations sculpted by Enter Projects Asia (EPA), which cover 12,000 square meters and redefine what travelers can expect from an airport environment. This expansive space, which encompasses retail, hospitality, and relaxation zones, showcases over nine kilometers of rattan, crafted using hand-wrought techniques on an unprecedented scale. See designboom’s previous coverage here.

kempegowda international airport
image by Ar. Ekansh Goel © Studio Recall

 

 

drawing from the garden heritage of kempegowda

 

Crafting the interiors of SOM‘s Kempegowda International Airport Terminal 2, Enter Projects Asia drew inspiration from Bangalore’s heritage, which is rooted in the 20th-century Garden City urban planning movement. This concept envisions a blend of urban and rural elements, aiming to create a utopian environment for the airport’s twenty million annual visitors. The design is intended to bring the best of city and countryside together within the airport.

 

Patrick Keane, Principal at EPA, envisioned a departure from traditional, utilitarian airport designs. By studying the characteristics of the world’s major airports, Keane sought to create a space that prioritizes sustainability, tactility, and biophilic design over conventional, hard materials. His approach involved using plant-based materials like reeds, rattan, and bamboo, typically found in boutique wellness retreats, and applying them to an urban, commercial setting on a grand scale.

kempegowda international airportEPA transforms the 12,000 square-meter departures area with billowing interiors | image © Hufton + Crow

 

 

rattan for a wellness-centric airport

 

Together with the fabrication team at Project Rattan, Enter Projects Asia developed its distinctive design language to create a series of sculptural rattan pods, pushing the boundaries of scale and craftsmanship across Kempegowda International Airport Terminal 2. The largest pod, standing nearly eight meters high, comprises 750 square meters of internal floor space and includes a restaurant with its own interior staircase, gazebo, and garden. Overall, the project includes five colossal pod structures and extensive column claddings, all fabricated from rattan to replace traditional materials like concrete and steel.

 

EPA’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its collaboration with traditional Thai craftspeople, offering a new lease on life for these heritage communities. Each section of the design was handwoven at EPA’s Bangkok factory and shipped efficiently using bespoke logistics software, blending high-tech solutions with handmade craft. This innovative approach underscores EPA’s dedication to sustainability and natural materials.

kempegowda international airport
the project is inspired by Bangalore’s Garden City movement, blending urban and rural | image © Hufton + Crow

 

 

The interiors feature intricate rattan weaving that varies in density, creating dynamic and organic forms. This variation conceals functional areas like kitchens while maintaining the sculptural sense of growth and fluidity within the space. Thoughtful lighting design amplifies this effect, highlighting the natural warmth of the materials. Additionally, the scheme incorporates extensive planting, including 700-year-old olive trees, hanging gardens, and thriving vines, reinforcing the Garden City concept.

 

Patrick Keane, Principal, EPA comments:If you think of rattan structures, bamboo framing, handmade elements, wood, you think ‘Oh wellness retreat, somewhere remote. But now you’re seeing it in an airport where they’re welcoming twenty million visitors a year, like what the hell? Wellness has become mainstream. If you touch a pod, it feels like a tree. It doesn’t feel like a wall. EPA is redefining these materials and their applications.’ 
kempegowda international airport
over nine kilometers of hand-wrought rattan are used in the design | image © Hufton + Crow kempegowda international airport
interiors feature five large rattan pods which evoke billowing movement | image © Hufton + Crow

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the team worked with Thai craftsmen at Project Rattan for handmade construction | image © Hufton + Crow

enter projects weaves fluid rattan interiors of SOM-designed kempegowda airport
rattan weaving varies in density for organic forms | image © Hufton + Crow

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the space integrates 700-year-old olive trees and hanging gardens | image © Hufton + Crow

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