Narita Airport Terminal 3

Narita International Airport adds to its roster the exciting and very original Terminal 3. As a joint effort from NIKKEN SEKKEI + Ryohin Keikaku + PARTY, this project unapologetically uses the low budget to its advantage with smart choices regarding the structure, applied materials and even the layout. A great example of heavy-duty minimalism infused with playfulness.

To break the mould and ignore the customary moving walkways was not only an aesthetic choice but also a monetary one, since the budget for Terminal 3 was half of the usual sum; in a bold move, rubber running tracks were installed all the way through guiding the travellers and the airport’s staff. The clear lines leave no room for doubt, the blue surface leads the way for the departing passengers, whilst the red/earth colour welcomes the arriving commuters. It’s worth pointing out the great pictograms replacing illuminated signs as well.

The interior design made with much-celebrated MUJI furniture is a perfect fit for what Terminal 3 is about. The brand’s affordable and functional furnishings enriches the ambient with great visual patterns and additional colour. Since the structure is quite raw and exposed, it is a great contingency plan to add explicit soft surfaces for the comfort of the users.

Airports have always been portrayed as a place for romantic farewells and long and extensive down times. However, it’s also the stage for frantic and agitated running towards the boarding gate. Terminal 3 shamelessly plays along with a lively running track, undeniably a welcome good-humoured solution.

Photography by Kenta Hasegawa