Kansai International Airport Passenger Terminal Building

Kansai International Airport Passenger Terminal Building

Kansai International Airport is located on an artificial island, specially built in Osaka Bay. The shape of the roof of the terminal arises from a long work on the dynamic lines of the air flows circulating in the building. It has been designed to convey air from the passenger side to the track side without requiring the use of closed conduits. Blade-like baffles guide the airflow along the ceiling and reflect the light coming from above. This eliminates all the elements that would have prevented the structure from being seen. Even the curves of the "wings" of the building are the result of the application of a strict law: they have been defined on the basis of a toroidal geometry. The curvature is almost imperceptible, but it was necessary to favor the side view from the control tower.

Project data




1991 - 1994

Area of the artificial island

4 km in leght by 1,2 km in width (3 km from the mainland)

Total floor area

113879 m2


1734 m


Main terminal 38 m max

Wings 28 m max





Kansai International Airport Co. Ltd.


Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects – N. Okabe, senior partner in charge in association with Nikken Sekkei Ltd., Aéroports de Paris, Japan Airport Consultants Inc.


Competition: Ove Arup & Partners (structure and services); M. Desvigne (landscaping)

Basic design and detail design phases: Ove Arup & Partners (structure and services); Peutz & Associés (acoustics); R. J. Van Santen (facades); David Langdon & Everest, Futaba Quantity Surveying Co. Ltd. (cost control); K. Nyunt (landscaping)

Construction phase: RFR (facades); Toshi Keikan Sekkei Inc. (canyon)