Ben van Berkel/UNStudio unveil design for transfer terminal and air traffic control tower at Kutaisi airport (GE)

UNStudio has designed the new Kutaisi Airport which will serve domestic and international flights for use by international diplomats, national politicians and for tourism.

Kutaisi Airport terminal

UNStudio's design for the new Kutaisi Airport incorporates both Georgia's historic landscape and its architecture.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who personally demolished one of the walls of the old airport yesterday announced, "We will build an international airport here, which will take aircraft from Munich, Rome, Baku and other cities as of next year."

Georgia, a young state in the Caucasus which has undergone considerable development in recent years, is moving its Parliament from the capital Tbilisi to the city of Kutaisi. A new parliament building is currently under construction in Kutaisi and in 2012 the first parliamentary meeting will take place.

In recent years growing numbers of tourists have been discovering Georgia, a country with an ancient and engaging history. As a result there is increasing demand from airlines to fly to Georgia.

By virtue of its geographical advantages and the nearby location of two of Georgia's most important Unesco monuments, Kutaisi was selected as the destination for a new airport. The new Kutaisi airport will in addition provide an economic impulse to Georgia's second city and its new seat of Parliament.

Ben van Berkel: "The design for the new terminal in Kutaisi focuses first and foremost on the experience of the traveler by creating an inviting, safe, transparent and user-friendly airport. The desire to provide for and communicate equally with both international visitors and the local community is paramount. "

UNStudio's design for the new Kutaisi Airport incorporates both Georgia's historic landscape and its architecture. In Georgia public buildings and private houses employ their entrance lobbies as showcases for their individual identities. In the design for the new airport UNStudio embraces this architectural concept in order to manifest Georgia's young and dynamic democracy, along with its rapid development as a main crossing point in the region. Georgia is located on a crossroads of rich cultures, with a history of travellers passing through the Caucasus or arriving from the Black Sea.

Ben van Berkel: "It was particularly exciting for me to be able to design an airport which is not only linked to the new seat of parliament in Kutaisi, but which also creates an entrance condition which functions as a port for the international community. The airport presents a symbolic infrastructural gateway to Georgia and, from there, to the rest of the world."

The 4,000-m² terminal building will house a central arrivals hall, a check-in area with lounge, cafe and car rental facilities, three gates for departure with retail, cafes, a CIP lounge area and exterior garden, an arrival area with customs and offices for the border police and an administration area with staff rooms and press conference facilities.

The architecture of the terminal refers to a pavilion; a gateway, in which a clear

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