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Naoko Ito - creative

Project: Narita Airport Terminal 3


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Japanese creative lab Party are behind the innovative design of Narita Airport’s Terminal 3, which features a running track designed to help passengers find their way through the airport.

A tight budget meant the architects couldn’t install moving walkways into the Japanese airport. The solution turns this into a positive, using colour-coded running lanes to promote activity ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I was on the track team in elementary school and I thought that it would be interesting if we could capture the positive feeling that occurs in the moment of running,” Party chief creative officer Naoki Ito says.

“To offer an exciting walking experience that is easy on the feet, we implemented running tracks used for track and field, which also serve as clear signage for user-friendly guidance.”

The Narita Airport project was three years in the making; the lack of expensive walkways and illuminated signage used in the terminal kept costs very low. Ito said the airport’s preparations for the Olympics and the fact that Terminal 3 will be exclusively used by low-cost airlines meant that ‘physical activity meets economy’ was a perfect theme for the project.

“For me, the key to great architecture and design is fitting two into one,” added Ito. “ We always seek to consolidate two or more functionalities into one in pursuit of economic reasonability. In short, we as an agency treasure innovative designs which provide an affordable twist on the norm.”

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