Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Airports we love #3: Washington Dulles International

Some airports we love because they are so useable. Others, like Hong Kong, because they offer a consumer paradise. Washington's main hub, Dulles International, is none of these things. Indeed it can be a miserable experience to be delayed there (as the Terminalator was last year) but there's one thing that makes even a four-hour wait just just so bareable and that's the timeless architecture of Eero Saarinen with its huge sweeping roof looks as fabulous now as it did when it was opened in 1962.

"While Dulles remains a modern monument to the confluence of use and imagery... it is also handicapped by its uniqueness. No lessons flowed from this building because, apart from copying it, there was no way to expand its application. In the end Saarinen's was, like Wright's, an architecture of emotion applied to specific requirements and sites."

Carter Wiseman in Shaping a Nation, 1998

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