Saturday, February 20, 2010


It can hardly be a coincindence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression "as beautiful as an airport."

Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (Murmansk airport is the only known exception to this otherwise infallible rule), and architects have on the whole tried to reflect that in their designs.

They have sought to highlight the tiredness and crossness motif with brutal shapes and nerve-jangling colors, to make effortless the business of separating the traveler forever from his or her luggage or loved ones, to confuse the traveller with arrows that appear to point at the windows, distant tie racks, or the current location of Ursa Minor in the night sky, and wherever possible to expose the plumbing on the grounds that it is functional, and conceal the location of the departure gates, presumably on the grounds that they are not.

— The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams, pp. 13-14.

(And that was before the advent of the TSA.)

1 comment:

  1. Alison in Indiana6:31 PM CST

    While I basically agree with Douglas Adams, I must inform you that the new Indianapolis International Airport, Wier Cook Terminal has recently been named one of the most significant visual and physical enhancements in Marion County, Indiana, and took top honors for customer satisfaction in the small-airport category.
    I hate it, much preferring the smaller, more convenient airport it replaced.