Fentress Architects is proud to announce the winners of their fourth annual international design competition, the Fentress Global Challenge. This year’s topic was Airport of the Future. Students from six continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia submitted in the competition. Out of 122 entries there where three winners and two honorable mentions.

The goal of the competition was to imagine what an airport terminal building might look like in the year 2050. One of the next critical steps for America’s already-crumbling infrastructure, these proposals shed new light on what the younger generation thinks is possible in airport design. The shortlisted proposals showed several different types of aircraft that may be seen in the future, new security processing options, and new technologies and ideas to enhance the passenger experience. Many innovative sustainable design solutions were presented.

A unique variety of out-of-the-box thinking ranged from sites on the frozen tundra to airports floating at sea. Travel pods that seamlessly carry you from one destination to another just may become a reality in the next one hundred years. A burgeoning population and limited space were no doubt the impetus behind proposals that had aircraft taking off and landing vertically from high rises or other structures. Just last week, the Marine Corps tested the new F-35, an aircraft that lands vertically. Technology is changing rapidly and as the proposals proved, the future is now.

The judges for the competition comprise some of the best aviation experts in the business: Daren Griffin, David Tomber, Michael Landguth, Curtis Fentress, and Matt Honegger. They critiqued the submittals according to design, technology, sustainability, and the passenger experience. The judges commented that “the winning proposals were creative, attractive, and compelling” and that “they reached into the future, but not so far in the future as to make them unbelievable.” 

The top prize included a grand prize of $15,000 and an internship at Fentress Architects. Second place won $3,000 and third place, $2,000. Two honorable mentions garnered $500 each. Every year Fentress holds the competition to engage students worldwide in the exploration of future design possibilities in public architecture. If you are an architecture or design student, stay tuned for next year’s competition.

For more information about Fentress Architects, their airports, and the Fentress Global Challenge, check out their Web site at www.fentressarchitects.com.