Bangkok’s main airport will be getting a new USD $1.3 billion passenger terminal that will feature extensive wooden cladding and an indoor forested landscape, which is getting some flak for the design being a potential fire hazard.

As Thailand expects to welcome more tourists over the next few years, the new passenger terminal at Survarnabhumi Airport is expected to handle around 30 million passengers per year. The construction work is expected to begin next year and completion is scheduled for 2021.

The new design is by Thai architect Duangrit Bunnag, whose concept for the new terminal has met criticism from groups such as the Engineering Institute of Thailand that it could be a fire hazard.

“Airports tend to have similar features — they’re white, cold and metallic,” Duangrit said. “I wanted a design that immediately gives travelers the feeling they’ve arrived in Thailand. It will be a metal structure covered with wood. Different treatments can be applied to the timber to ensure fire resistance.”

From images of what to expect, travelers will see sweeping arches and giant columns clad in wood. Similar to the gardens you may see at Singapore Changi Airport, there will be a 16,000 square meter tropical-forest landscape between the two buildings of the terminal.

Terminal Exterior

"Tropical Forest Landscape"  to be built in between the terminal buildings

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