Banyuwangi International Airport
Blimbingsari, Indonesia

Azwar Anas, Banyuwangi’s Regent since 2010, was born and raised here and considers it his mission to attract ecologically sensitive, sustainable development and tourism, ensuring economic benefits for locals while avoiding the sort of environmental degradation seen in Bali and other tourist hotspots. Rather than seeking central government financing which would have meant losing control over the development, he raised funds for this airport locally, and his regional government declared a 10-kilometre-radius No-Development Zone around it, protecting the existing paddy fields and villages – an exceptional move given the general tendency to commercially exploit land around airports. 

Designed by architect Andra Matin as a corporate social responsibility project, the building is extensively inspired by the houses of the local Osing tribe. Its pitched roof structures – one for arrivals, one for departures – tip upwards at the eaves as theirs do, although here they are covered in grass rather than roof tiles, serving both as insulation and to blend the building into its setting. Each roof is additionally crowned with an array of timber-framed, asymmetrical pyramidal skylights that echo the traditional Banyuwangi headdress in form and incorporate perforated panels to draw warm air upwards and outwards – another Osing technique. These and other simple details all built by local craftspeople, such as vertical ulin-wood louvres as transparent but secure boundaries, transform a low-cost concrete construction into an exceptional example of both contextual architecture and passive design. Glazed partitions allow natural light to penetrate throughout. 

A koi carp pond and a plant-filled courtyard offer visual and climatic respite as passengers proceed through the airport. At the end of the pick-up/drop-off colonnade along the building’s southern edge is another pond with a sunken mushollah (prayer room). 

As well as drawing tourists from elsewhere, the airport serves as a hub for locals embarking on the Haj, with a large viewing gallery where family members can wave goodbye to loved ones as they board the aircraft from the tarmac.

Currently catering to 300,000 passengers annually, the airport’s existing 160-hectare site allows for future expansion to accommodate up to 3 million without encroaching on the No-Development Zone.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Blimbingsari, Indonesia
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Associated Collections
Occupancy 2017
Ground floor area: 9,385 m²
Building Usages