Washington Dulles International Airport

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Washington Dulles International Airport at dusk

The Washington Dulles International Airport is located on a flat piece of land, with surrounding countryside featuring fields and woodlands. A road passes by the front of the building to allow passengers to be dropped off and picked up. On a lower level, there is a large, roughly oval shaped area for car-parking. The car park itself is covered in tarmac and has a five rows of trees running across it.

The first thing that you notice about the airport building is the unusual design of the structure. Two rows of outward angled, columns which taper to a narrower width at the top and then bend upwards and inwards to form an arch. Between the columns, there are large rectangular windows, with entrances at street level. There are also large glass panel windows at both ends of the building. On top is the roof, which is highest at the front and swoops down in a gentle curve before raising up again. The architect who designed the building intended for the curved, sweeping shape to suggest the idea of flight. The overall aesthetic is clean, unfussy and modern, focused on the distinctive architectural details of the arches and the roof.

At the back of the building is the control tower. At the base is an entry area with high windows and a flat roof. On top stands a tall, grey rectangular tower which narrows and then widens again to support a pagoda inspired structure. The base of this section is made up of a squat rectangular black block which reflects the shape of the tower in that it is wider at the top than the base. Another block of the same size and shape is placed on but at opposite angles, forming a cross if viewed from above. Higher still is a smaller black block on top of which is a room with windows providing views in every direction. Again, this room appears to be narrower at the base than the top. It has a roof with four flat panels, forming a square if seen from above, with lights and antennas on top.