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Airports as Sacred Spaces

a revolutionary concept in airport design that elevates the travel experience.



Sara Fein

Key Words


Design, Operations, Shared Value, User Experience


In the quest to redefine airports beyond mere transit hubs, my year-long research aimed to transform these spaces into sanctuaries that resonate with cultural richness. Focusing on airports as the first impression of a city, I addressed the disconnect between travelers' emotions and the airport environment. The solution emerged as a unique lounge concept, carefully designed to emulate the sacred spaces individuals seek. Delving into strategies for this transformation, I not only explored architectural elements but developed programs enhancing emotional well-being. The project's essence lies in recognizing airports as more than logistical waypoints, but as gateways to cultural experiences, ultimately enhancing the overall travel journey.


Architecturally, integrating elements of sacred spaces within the airport layout demanded innovative design thinking. An added complexity was figuring out how to balance cultural representation while adhering to airport functionality. Meeting the diverse emotional needs of travelers necessitated prompting them to reflect on their experiences in the environment, occasionally encountering challenges in obtaining the specific information sought. It was challenging to find stakeholders that could help ensure the project aligned with an authentic cultural representation of the location.


The project materialized into an innovative and transformative airport lounge concept, seamlessly blending architectural innovation, cultural representation, and emotional well-being. This lounge, targeting the multifarious definition of a sacred space, provides travelers with an immersive cultural experience including Architrual elements that satisfy the demand for authentic representation and programs that directly address emotional well-being. The collaboration with local artisans' businesses ensures economic benefits. This outcome not only satisfied stakeholders but also positioned the concept as a market disruptor, setting new standards for airport design and passenger experience.

MEET THE Designers:

Sara Fein

Instagram: @sarafein1
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