Measuring 4.4 million square feet, the striking Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2 is expected to serve 40 million travelers per year, nearly twice as many as the building it replaces. The new terminal combines international and domestic passenger services under one roof, optimizing terminal operations and reducing passenger walking distances.
Inspired by the form of traditional Indian pavilions, the new four-story terminal stacks a grand “headhouse,” or central processing podium, on top of highly adaptable and modular concourses below. Rather than compartmentalizing terminal functions, all concourses radiate outwards from a central processing core permitting them to swing between domestic and international service.
Just as the terminal celebrates a new global, high-tech identity for Mumbai, the structure is imbued with responses to the local setting, history, and culture. Gracious curbside drop-off zones designed for large parties of accompanying well-wishers accommodate traditional Indian arrival and departure ceremonies.
Regional patterns and textures are subtly integrated into the terminal’s architecture at all scales. From the articulated coffered treatment on the headhouse columns and roof surfaces to the intricate jali window screens that filter dappled light into the concourses, Terminal 2 demonstrates the potential for a modern airport to view tradition anew.
The project also makes a significant positive contribution to the local fabric. By integrating into the existing transportation fabric and by furthering connectivity through the simultaneous development of a new road network to service the airport, the terminal helps knit together the historic heart of Mumbai to the south with the city’s burgeoning peripheries to the east and north.
Location: Mumbai, India
Architecture: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Photographs: Robert Polidori