Best airport I've traveled through: Narita, Japan, December/January 2004/2005.
Walked off a noisy flight and entered the Zen of airports. Silence. Plasma screens in the waiting lounge displaying gate areas. Proper signage.
Most importantly, US$5 for 30 minutes of the best shower money can buy after the first experience of going without hot water for half a month before a long flight home (just a blink of the eye compared to the multi-month withdrawal experienced in 2006).
I arrived at this new Bangkok airport about 4am when it was dark. My initial thought was, "Wow, what a modern-looking airport." Your assessment during the day is something I didn't think of - the entire airport is a gigantic window.
When plane-weary passengers leave from the luggage area and go out the first door they see, they will get hit by taxi drivers asking for 600 Baht or more to go to Bangkok. There is an express shuttle all the way at the far end of the ground floor that will take you to Khao San Road and three other major hotel centers for 150 Baht. They will only leave if they have four passengers or more, which isn't usually a problem for Khao San Road but may be for the other places, as people headed there may be more likely to take a taxi.
I discovered the elevator banks along the front facade. They are better than the escalator ramps. With four floors it is hard to find anything. I went to one end of the ground floor for the express shuttle, then the fourth floor and the other end for ATM/money exchange, then back to the shuttle, shops are on the second floor, I think,.......... it took me at least thirty minutes to leave the place after I had gotten my luggage!
I was in that airport the same day as you,on my way to Delhi, India. I agree, they have some problems with the temperature inside, but what an interesting design.
An Architectural Insult
Quote from Frank Lloyd Write:
No house should ever be built on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.
Frank Lloyd Wright
The architecture of the Bangkok, Airport is and insult the human body, and insulte the hill a complete insult to good Architects of the planet. This is a joke, a disaster and should not be given the time of day.
"FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION:
This building does not function.
START ENCARTA ENCYCLOPEDIA QUOTE
Louis Sullivan (1856-1924), American architect, whose brilliant early designs for steel-frame skyscraper construction led to the emergence of the skyscraper as the distinctive American building type. Through his own work, especially his commercial structures, and as the founder of what is now known as the Chicago School of architects, he exerted an enormous influence on 20th-century American architecture. His most famous pupil was the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who acknowledged Sullivan as his master.
The son of a dancing teacher, Louis Henri Sullivan was born in Boston on September 3, 1856. After studying architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he spent a year in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and in the office of a French architect. Settling in Chicago in 1875, he was employed as a draftsman, then in 1881 formed a partnership with Dankmar Adler. Together they produced more than 100 buildings. Adler secured the clients and handled the engineering and acoustical problems, while Sullivan concerned himself with the architectural designs. One of their earliest and most distinguished joint enterprises was the ten-story Auditorium Building (1886-89) in Chicago. This famous showplace incorporated a hotel, an office building, and a theater renowned for its superb acoustics. The Wainwright Building, also ten stories high, with a metal frame, was completed in 1891 in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1895 the Sullivan-Adler partnership was dissolved, leading to a decline in Sullivan's practice. The Carson Pirie Scott (originally Schlesinger & Mayer) Department Store, Chicago, regarded by many as Sullivan's masterpiece, was completed in 1904. His architectural practice declined alarmingly after that; his last buildings are a series of small banks in the Midwest. All are admired for their superb fusion of bold architectural forms with Sullivan's characteristic sumptuous ornament. Outstanding are the Security Bank (originally National Farmers' Bank; 1908) in Owatonna, Minnesota, and the People's Savings Bank (1911) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Concerned with aesthetics as well as being a working architect, he expressed his ideas in lectures and writings, including the classic Autobiography of an Idea (1924, reprinted 1956). His famous axiom, “Form follows function,” became the touchstone for many in his profession. Sullivan, however, did not apply it literally. He meant that an architect should consider the purpose of the building as a starting point, not as a rigidly limiting stricture. He himself employed a rich vocabulary of ornament, even on his skyscrapers. He died on
April 14, 1924, in Chicago.