“The wall was intended to hold artwork, but due to the circular
nature of the footprint and the limited space where passengers
could back up and truly appreciate the individual pieces on the wall,
we decided to make the entire wall into a piece of [art]work,” says
Schmidt. “It really showcases a sense of place for Miami by imitating
ripples of sand in the shallows of the beach.”
Other highlights include biophilic benches that wrap around
columns with integrated planters and aquariums. Hospitality-styled
amenities, such as spas that host showers, manicures and haircuts,
are also passenger favorites found within the club.
While airport spaces are seeing a rise in local
cuisine, artwork and history being incorporated
into the layout, DiFurio points out that airlines
and companies have also upped the effort when
it comes to incorporating picture-worthy backdrops, which can then be branded in such a way
that it works to advertise for them as well, especially on travelers’ social media accounts.
“The social media aspect of travel and flight
is more prominent than ever,” says Schmidt.
“Terminals’ art programs provide unique opportu-
nities with dramatic backdrops to show off jet-set
lifestyles. The Doha bear [at Hamad International
Airport] and the Sacramento big red rabbit grace
Facebook feeds and Instagram stories frequently.
Anything that gives the passenger the chance to
express ‘I am here’ in a way that can’t be done
anywhere else is a win.”
Schmidt and DiFurio also find that lounges, in
particular, tend to be more custom-designed to
reflect the different values and service ethos of
each brand, and that they want to cater to their
most valuable, frequent flier travelers.
“Many clubs, including those available with
single-day passes, will highlight amenities like chef-made menus, spas
and private working spaces, but the more exclusive clubs intended
for high-mileage loyal passengers are more likely to limit average
users and to offer a set of defined amenities that their passengers can
expect at every stop,” explains DiFurio. Schmidt added that highlighting
exclusivity and class of one’s travel arrangements makes first class
seating and lounges a pride-filled location for travelers looking to pho-
tograph their activities.
New heights (and lengths) continue to develop in the aviation field.
Qantas Airways announced earlier this year its first-ever nonstop
commercial flight between Australia and the United Kingdom, making it
the longest non-stop flight to date. New technology in development
will help fight jet lag while traveling rather than asking travelers to deal
with the side effects post-trip.
As DiFurio put it, “An airport is no longer just a machine moving
people through; it is about placemaking, it is about hospitality, it is
about entertainment and, most important, a destination.”
28 interiors+sources october2018
interiors | REPORT
TOP AND BELOW The American Express Club at MIA incorporated local themes center to the Florida region,
such as sand on the beach and fish in the ocean. DiFurio noted that in locations like Los Angeles and
Washington D.C., where politicians and celebrities fly in and out on a daily basis, traditional lounge
amenities offered may be reduced as accessibility to that airline’s space becomes highly exclusive.
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