The Airport of the Future 2016

Submission: October 01 , 2016
Registration: September 01, 2016
Language: English
Location: Selected Airports
Prizes: 1st Prize: $15,000, 2nd Prize: $3,000, 3rd Prize: $2,000
Type: Student Competition

The Fentress Global Challenge is an annual international competition created to engage students worldwide in the exploration of future design possibilities in public architecture. The competition theme changes to reflect current issues. For 2016, students around the globe are invited to envision “The Airport of the Future.”


Participants are encouraged to re-envision the terminal building of the future, taking into consideration current technological trends and applying them to the near future. The participant should consider every element of the passenger experience and seek to improve every dimension of the building.  Things to consider are urbanization, globalization, technological innovations, flexibility, security, adaptability, and the traveler experience from “curbside to airside.”


Competition Announcement 27 May 2016

Design Submission Deadline 01 October 2016

Shortlist Announced 14 October 2016

Winners Announced 01 November 2016

Internship at Fentress Architects Summer 2017


1st Place
US$15,000 prize and a certificate (US$15,000 prize includes US$5,000 cash, four-week paid internship at Fentress Architects, airfare and lodging) Interns from outside the U.S. are responsible for obtaining necessary visa and paperwork; Fentress Architects will provide a letter stating an offer for internship. Internship details will be arranged one on one with the winning student.

2nd Place
US$3,000 cash prize and a certificate

3rd Place
US$2,000 cash prize and a certificate

People’s Choice Award
US $1,000 cash prize and a certificate


Students must choose a site that is one of the top 30 airports in the world according to Airport Council International (ACI). All conceptual design submissions must address the following:


Is the architecture aesthetically pleasing?  Is the design flexible and adaptable?  Does it work in  the  proposed  site  and  does  it  take  into  account  how  passengers  move  through  the building? How might the design be a model for the airport of the future?


What technological innovations might the airport of the future employ?  How could technology change the interaction between the passengers and their airport surroundings?


What sustainable strategies might the airport of the future employ? How might this affect the design?

Passenger Experience

How might the passenger experience change in the future? Take into account the different aspects of the terminal building as a “place” or a “non-place.”


Students must register at theairportofthefuture.com for the competition. One registered you will receive a registration number. You will also receive updates on the competition.


The official language of the competition is English; metric is the official unit measurement. The design concept shall be submitted in PDF format and include:

  • Up to 8 pages in 11.5 x 17 format, landscape orientation
  • Large fonts that can be viewed on a projector (Arial or Helvetica)
  • A brief overall description of the design concept
  • Supporting diagrams, plans, sections and perspectives are encouraged
  • Digital file may be no larger than 20MB
  • Digital file must be named after the registration number, for example: FGC20150000.pdf
  • Entry must contain the unique registration number in the upper right corner of every page. There may NOT be any names, affiliations or other forms of identification in the document. Entries with such designations will be deemed ineligible and will not be judged or displayed. In a separate PDF please include student ID’s of the group members.

Go to the competition’s website