For anybody who has visited Cebu for the past few months, you might have found a new structure — a set of wide arches— welcoming you on the runway when you land. It is Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2, next to the former airport (now known as MCIA Terminal 1).
MCIA Terminal 2 has just completed full commercial operations and opened its doors to travelers from all over the globe. With its eye-catching architecture and creative handling and protection mechanisms, the new terminal promises to provide travelers with a world-class airport experience, rendering flying to and from Cebu even more unique.
Cebu has long been at the forefront of the Philippine tourism industry, and MCIA is a crucial portal for bringing travelers to (and beyond) the region’s top destinations. MCIA is the second-largest airport facility in the Philippines right before the opening of Terminal 2, with 10 million passengers flying via it last year.
As tourism continues to increase in the nation, particularly in the Visayas, Cebu is in a prime position to capitalize on travelers’ increasing influx. The latest MCIA Terminal 2 is expected to give guests a fresh “first experience” at this opportune moment.
“Terminal 2 was conceived as a first experience for travelers from around the world as both a physical and conceptual portal to the Philippines –a natural blend and representation of its customs, landscape, and community,” the project team clarified.
Contextual comparisons occur in style, which incorporates a distinctive exterior structure composed of many arches spanning an undulating metal roof designed to evoke the shimmering surface of the ocean surrounding it.
The wide arches that stretch about 30 meters each are constructed of glue-laminated timber and are connected to create a skeletal structure by thousands of smaller wooden ribs.
This design eliminates the number of columns needed. It provides a relatively accessible interior space, lined with natural sunshine at either end by glazed parts and by skylights running around the roofs apexes.
“The trussed framework of the arches remains transparent on its underside,” the architects continued, “resulting in the unmistakable cornerstone of the building-a ceiling of curvilinear glulam columns, almost cathedral-like in its towering consistency, intended to invoke the hull of a liner.”
The use of natural wood in the room is intended to add to the inviting environment stated by the project team. It invokes “the well-known warmth and hospitality of the Filipinos.
Lower check-in desks reinforce this feeling of warmth than the ones usually seen at many airports.
In addition to the wooden floors, features include mother-of-pearl parts inlaid into the terrazzo flooring, and moss-covered walls in the bathrooms represent the plentiful natural resources available around the islands.
Twelve Architects built an airport in Rostov-on-Don, Russia earlier this year, which had a roof consisting of a sequence of arches – the company clarified that its stunning architecture is a symbol for how the airport is a “sky bridge,” linking cities and nations.