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Sunday, April 26, 2009


The Kansai Airport designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Arup opened in 1994. Since then I have seen many photographs and drawings of the project but never had the chance to visit in person. I have been fascinated by the airport, not just the design of the building, but the idea of constructing an island to build the airport.

Whenever someone mentions Kansai Airport, I am always reminded of Piano's story about his visit to the site. Before entering the design competition for the airport, Piano had asked to visit the site. The Japanese client was too polite to refuse and took Piano and his associates on a boat trip. After spending some time sailing in the ocean Piano asked "Where is the site?" The client said "Here". They were in the open sea as the island had not been constructed yet.

Recently I took a trip to Osaka and finally fulfilled the wish to see the airport in person. In short, the airport is very beautiful, just like the photographs. After about 15 years the building and the design still look very fresh.

1 comment:

  1. I was there in February 2007, dropping Edward Sun off so that he could leave my mom and me to continue the rest of our Japan trip without him. It's so light and airy--very urbane architecture.