Narita Airport - Terminal 3 - Nikken Sekkei 1

A Different Orientation: Narita Airport Terminal 3

It was one of those jobs that usually gets rejected. But the architects of the Japanese studio Nikken Sekkei have taken on the construction project and designed a new, future-proof terminal for low-cost air travellers at Tokyo Narita Airport. Challenge for the planners: Terminal 3 was to be built for half the usual budget.

Fortunately, money does not decide creativity and motivation, although the budget issue has brought some changes in approach. Nevertheless, the decision was made for a functional interior design that provides orientation.

Courageous decisions ensure minimalist design

Due to the low-budget concept, the architects throughout Terminal 3 have refrained from installing ceilings, which creates a feeling of openness and lightness. Furthermore, they have decided against any digital signage with e.g. illuminated information or advertising boards or self-illuminating signs. Instead, corresponding icons can be seen on the ground, arrows for the direction of travel or symbols for departure and arrival.

Orientation thanks to different colours

Due to its track-like look, the guidance system becomes an integral part of the overall concept and leaves no room for doubt due to its clear lines; the blue, airy floor knows the way to the right gate for departing passengers, whereas arriving passengers are welcomed by a red, earth-coloured floor.

Less is more - also in the interior of Narita Airport Terminal 3

In addition to Studio Nikken Sekkei, Japanese retailer Ryohin Keikaku was also involved in the redesign of the 3rd terminal at Narita Airport. Equipped with around 400 comfortable MUJI furniture in bright green, blue, mocha and white shades, they have created an inexpensive but suitably branded terminal where the guests of the 2020 Olympic Games can prepare for the competitions, or what do you think?!