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An Airport Terminal That Perks You Up Instead Of Grinding You Down

If you’ve ever flown with an unhappy baby–nay, if you’ve ever been stuck in any enclosed space with an unhappy baby–you know the desperation parents feel about keeping their kids occupied and happy until, god willing, they fall into a deep sleep after take-off. Dutch design studio Tjep., tasked with designing a new lounge at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, wanted to make the process just a little easier for beleaguered guardians.

“The starting point of the project was to convey the feeling of a cozy neighborhood rather than a huge international airport,” explains the studio. They framed the smattering of stores you find in any airport–news, snacks, the obligatory tax-free luxury shop–in storefronts that are meant to evoke the air of a small-town main street – think New Urbanism, for interiors.

Tjep noticed that Terminal 4 was bereft of the single entertaining thing about airport terminals: a view of the action on the tarmac. To make up for the dearth of visible aircraft, Tjep. writes, “we added a couple of specially designed plane benches.” Make your own fun, you lazy kids!

The lounge space is separated from the shops by a wooden staircase that’s divided by an aluminum slide. Big green sofas designed by Atelier Van Lieshout give the spaces differentiation, while the multi-level seating area lets parents keep an eye on the lay of the land. M.C. Escher prints line the spaces, giving them some visual interest. The idea is to keep kids playing for the long hours between check-in and take-off.

And finally, thankfully, the architects have addressed another universal airport pet peeve: with over 100 outlets built into the lounge, you’ll never go uncharged again.

[Images courtesy of Tjep., Images by Mike Bink]

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