Skip to content

International Operations Fit-out @ Canberra International Airport - Canberra

Projects / Commercial / Interiors / Public

Client Canberra Airport

Location Canberra

Commendation, Commercial Projects, Best of State ACT, Australian Interior Design Awards 2018
Commendation – National Awards, Australian Institute of Architects, 2017
Robert Foster Award for Light in Architecture, Australian Institute of Architects, ACT, 2017
Award Interior Architecture, Australian Institute of Architects, ACT, 2017
Grand Prize Winner, Corian Design Awards, CASF 2017
Best Fitout, Alteration or Refurbishment over $5m – Master Builders Excellence in Building Awards, 2017

As a starting point for the new Canberra International Airport’s International Facilities, Guida Moseley Brown Architects designed a world class new departure lounge and arrival hall, providing the public with a high quality travel experience typically reserved for business and first class passengers.

The architecture for the new 2,750m2 public departure lounge and 2,400m2 arrival hall builds upon the geometric dynamism and light-filled quality of the existing terminal’s main hall, while seamlessly integrating a bold sculptural expression that celebrates the beauty of aviation technology and dynamic atmosphere of contemporary travel.

The design offers a unique and memorable traveller experience as a gateway to the Canberra region, created by access to daylight and views, and an immersive integration of interlaced geometry and highly developed local craftsmanship: including wall and ceiling panels, free-standing and built-in custom seating modules, custom glass, metal, and coloured concrete finishes, integrated lighting, and the incorporation of a significant sculpture by Japanese artist Haruyuki Uchida.

The design provides a sequence of waiting spaces catering for differing requirements: the departure lounge includes state of the art business and media lounges, private meeting rooms, an expansive bar and dining area, and a variety of seating and meeting areas, ranging from formal business oriented spaces to relaxed social and private spaces. Both the business and airside lounges include the use of innovative seating modules providing visitors with a sense of privacy and intimacy, including power and data connections required by the contemporary traveller.  For arriving passengers, the sequence leads to a spatially generous processing and baggage collection areas, including dramatic natural lighting that transforms the space throughout the day.

During the design process GMB worked closely with the Client, contractor and fabricators to test and prioritise the value for money of key project elements. This value management process included rationalization of the extensive stone floor pattering and timber ceiling geometry to maintain repetitive modules where possible.

GMB collaborated with Lighting Design Partnership to develop a range of sophisticated integrated lighting solutions that in combination with the windows and skylights, dramatically enhance the various areas from day to night. GMB worked with joiners and fabricators in designing the unique Corian/timber seating modules, and the free-form precast concrete “blue bar”, including multiple mock-ups and prototypes. In addition GMB worked closely with Australian Border Force to create an open and welcoming character to the various processing areas, whilst maintaining the strict control and security requirements.

The design team sought to maximise the projects sustainability; implementing a sophisticated DALI lighting control system, LED light fittings, locally sourced furniture, water saving sensors to vanity units, and plumbing fittings connected to the existing terminals grey and rainwater ESD systems.

The International facilities serve the client and public by creating an efficient, durable and economical facility whilst simultaneously being welcoming, comfortable, secure, and enjoyable. In addition the terminal design pioneers democratic public access to a high quality, dignified environment and seeks to alleviate the often stressful experience of international travel.

Photographer: John Gollings