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Design ceiling: eyecatcher at Hong Kong International Airport

The ever increasing number of passengers at the "Chek Lap Kok" Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) – which is already one of the world's busiest aviation hubs – motivated the airport operators to erect a 105,000 square metre waiting lounge to the west of Terminal 1. The internationally renowned Aedas architecture and design practice selected "Escale" metal mesh from GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG as an attention-grabbing highlight for the ceiling design of the five-storey building.

Since the opening of the 105,000 square metre Midfield waiting lounge, passengers enjoy a fantastic experience with restaurants, cafés and shops over five storeys. Located to the west of Terminal 1 between two existing runways, the new building is designed to handle up to ten million additional passengers per year. More than 19 passenger boarding bridges, including two for the Airbus A380, ensure that passengers can fly to destinations throughout the world. An automatic people mover links the waiting lounge with Terminal 1, which mostly handles long haul flights. When constructing the building, the architects at Aedas created a contemporary reinterpretation of the ceiling design concept from Terminal 1. Energy-optimised glass façades with north-facing skylights give the waiting lounge plenty of natural light. Highly efficient water coolers, 20,000 LED lights, as well as installation of more than 1,200 square metres of solar cells also underline the sustainability of the concept created by the architects. The suspended ceiling is made up of triangular elements, whose joints and tips create a star-shaped pattern spanning the entire waiting lounge. LED lights recessed in individual elements set subtle lighting accents. Three-dimensional curved elements made of “Escale 5 x 1” stainless steel mesh from GKD then create an attention-grabbing counterpoint to this, providing a kind of visual base for the galleries located above. Lilac LEDs are used to back-light the large-format elements, lending them a floating character. A total of 24 panels of the spiral mesh were used, each measuring 36 metres wide and 1.2 metres high. The particular challenge here revolved around the desired attachment solution of the architects. With this system, the mesh panels are only fixed in position at the top and bottom – without any intermediate mounting fixtures – and follow the curves of the massive ceiling arches.

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