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AUSTIN EXECUTIVE AIRPORT
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
R
on
W. H
enRiksen
Chapter 1
or the relief of landing. The excitement of
air travel began the moment you arrived at
the airport. It included the bustle of baggage
and the roar of gas turbines and the thrill of
witnessing with your own eyes the dynamics
of aviation. The architecture of early airports
accommodated those all important details
with raised observation decks and oversized
waiting rooms and big panes of clear glass
separating passengers from aircraft ramps.
Modern commercial airports, on the other
hand, are internally focused, aiming our at-
tention not outdoors but inside, where we
might spend money on designer coffees and
food and books and travel gadgetry of all
sorts. Newer airports did away with much of
the glass and replaced it with solid and un-
imaginative walls plastered with advertising
billboards.
Again, I wanted something different. In this
case, the exact opposite of a trend in airport
design that denied travelers the excitement
of seeing through the terminal into the out-
doors. And one way to do that was by creat-
ing monumental spaces surrounded by walls
of glass.
2011. Waiting/lounge area with two-story concave glass wall.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Y. Wong/Atelier Wong Photography.