The Kangaroo Island Air Terminal is more than a regional air transport hub, it is a unique world-class cultural venue. More than a landmark, image or icon, it is the product and instigator of dialogue – interaction and exchange between people, with the terminal and its breathtaking natural setting.
Located off mainland South Australia, Kangaroo Island is a secluded island, a place of extremes where powerful forces shape the remote coastline and nature balances precariously. It is a unique destination and the architectural response is appropriately un-conventional, distinctive and deeply connected to place. Conventional terminal planning principles were transcended to enhance the terminals function and create a cultural centre – defined by a central hub space at the nexus of a third diagonal pier leg – enabling the terminal to simultaneously host regional passenger transport, kitchen, bar, art gallery, and function spaces.
The Architectural response promotes a unique and engaging dialogue between guests, KI’s iconic un-spoilt natural landscape, its history and local produce – blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors and giving primacy to nature. Arrivals are greeted by a striking curvilinear weathered timber façade and salient white veil, detailed to express and celebrate the effects of weather and time – an authentic and defining aspect of the islands weather-beaten character and resilience.The terminal Architecture optimises traveller experience, aids in their orientation on Kangaroo Island, and promotes positive personal interaction and commercial exchange – promoting the islands people, their story and future potential. To achieve this the building listens as much as it speaks. One of Kangaroo Island’s unique aspects is the authenticity of its people and the diverse range of authentic experiences it offers.
The islanders have enthusiastically adopted the new air terminal and populated it with their unique produce, artwork, native nursery plants, and labour – making it their own and boding well for the Architecture to continue its purpose of instigating future dialogue. The KI terminal welcomes people to KI’s unspoilt natural landscape and inspires them to continue their journey and ‘go-within’ – to be inspired by nature with moments of deep clarity, connection and peace.
The terminal is comfortable, small-scale, and well-appointed, offering thoughtfully considered facilities with a few simple luxury touches. The look and feel are something different – more ‘nature-lodge’ than ‘commercial terminal’. Health and well-being are promoted in the terminal through an ambitious and intelligent ESD (Environmentally Sustainable Design) approach featuring predominantly natural ventilation, carefully composed indoor day-lighting quality, net zero carbon emissions, and promoting the island’s electric car charging network initiative.