Bright & Colorful SOM’s New Mumbai Airport Terminal


The concrete cells of the canopy spanning this new airport terminal in Mumbai was designed by American firm SOM to reference both the open-air pavilions of traditional Indian architecture and the arrangement of feathers in a peacock's tail

The new 40-hectare terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport will accommodate 40 million passengers a year for both international and domestic flights, and was designed by SOM to adopt the styles and motifs of the regional vernacular.

"We designed an airport that is intimately connected to its surroundings," said SOM partner Roger Duffy. "By subtly incorporating regional patterns and textures at all scales, Terminal 2 resonates with a sense of place and serves as a spectacular symbol for India and Mumbai."

The check-in hall is located on the upper level of the four-storey terminal, directly beneath the perforated concrete ceiling. This canopy is supported by 30 tapered columns that are punctured with similar recesses, creating a decorative pattern of openings that are filled with coloured glazing to allow light to filter through the space.

"The monumental spaces created beneath the 30 mushrooming columns call to mind the airy pavilions and interior courtyards of traditional regional architecture," said the design team.
"The constellation of colours makes reference to the peacock, the national bird of India, and the symbol of the airport," they added.

A 900-metre long glass wall with a gridded cable frame provides the hall's facade. The decorative canopy extends beyond the walls to offer protection from both intense heat and monsoons, but also creates an area where Indian departure ceremonies can take place

The rest of the terminal is laid out with an X-shaped plan, where modular concourses radiate outwards from the central core to minimise walking distances to boarding gates.