Francisco Jose Rodriguez Barrientos

Order and Expression. These two architectural elements are fundamental when it comes to the design of buildings and spaces; they are even more important for the design of an airport terminal. An airport’s typological identity requires the understanding of the three main established components that shape it: the plan, the design of surfaces, and the handling of light. The thesis project explores how an ordered structural system – made up of a repetitive individual structural unit – can impact the integrity of an airport design. Variations of the units, using a selection of materials ranging from steel, concrete and timber were created. Each of these were then judged against a series of architectural criteria ranging from construction, structural integrity, lighting to servicing. A final unit out of the variations was chosen to further explore and apply to the airport design. The unit and the plan combine to give function appropriate form and meaning, which permits the airport terminal to be recognized as a distinct building typology. The two together demonstrated how something that is so simple – the ordered structural unit – could combine with an airport design and create something quite beautiful and complex – the architectural expression.

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