Sunday, November 21, 2010

New international terminal at Wellington - The Rock

Today was the Wellington International Airport open morning for the new international terminal, dubbed The Rock [and unofficially, a few other things...].

It was a good chance to walk through the new terminal, especially considering the amount of publicity it has gained since the plans were announced some time ago. Also, it's not often that you get to walk through an international terminal without having to buy a ticket somewhere :-)

There were displays from various airport related bodies, including aviation security, airport fire rescue and others. There were supposed to be various flying displays and an Air New Zealand Airbus A320 to walk though also, but due to the weather, there was no A320 and the only flying contribution was Wellington Aero Club's Nanchang CJ6.

Despite all of this, the main attraction was the new terminal building. Unfortunately, I can't say that I like it too much. Despite all the effort that has gone in to design and build it, it comes across as a dark and very constrained space - not one that I would wish to spend a couple of hours in waiting for a flight.

An indication of how tight is that I only saw one coffee/ light snack outlet [did I miss anything?], and as for dark, see for yourself. There appears to be very little natural light [despite the brochures/ marketing] and there are few places where you can look out over the airfield or surrounding areas. I'm left with the impression that the design will date quite quickly also.

Customs/ immigration/ biosecurity areas were bright and open areas [despite appearing to be all internal areas with little or no natural light], so I'm not sure why the terminal/ gate area turned out the way it is. Just my opinion of course, and maybe everyone else will like it.

Here are some photos. My favouite is the first one of the outside of the terminal - it looks nicer from outside than the inside perhaps? Maybe I'm being a bit tough? If you went to the open morning, leave a comment with your opinion of The Rock.


Ethan Tucker said...

Looks interesting. Do you think they'll have to splash out for stronger lighting to banish the gloom?

Rodney said...

Somehow I doubt it, but happy to be proven wrong.