UBC Graduate Research

Architecture of Pandemics : Airports of the Future Chan, Boris Pok Man


Humanity has been battling outbreaks of infectious diseases, often brought by our own activities, through architectural interventions since antiquity. In the age of accessible air travel and unprecedented mobility, the current global pandemic seems almost inevitable and calls for yet another iteration of pandemic architecture. At the front line of this worldwide crisis, airports are racing to adopt new changes in response to biosafety concerns, particularly in the implementation of automation technologies to minimise unnecessary contact. Just like how the tuberculosis outbreak of the 19th century gave rise to not only sanatoria but also modernism, the new smart technologies will have a long-lasting impact on the architectural experience of the airport in ways beyond their initial purpose. Will airports evolve to become even more spatially controlling space, or saves precious time and space otherwise wasted in the processing end and provide travellers with a more liberating experience? This project explores this contradiction in a hypothetical renovation of the Hong Kong International Airport T1.

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