Airports are now open for local and international flights albeit some restrictions and it’s such a relief to be able to fly out to different destinations yet again.
There is no doubt that many people will be excited about the opportunity this offers; the sheer joy of seeing other parts of the world after months of lockdown. For travellers through the Port Harcourt International Airport, it is a whole new experience as they get to experience the airport like never before, all thanks to the collaborative efforts of FAAN and Spacefinish.
In 2019, FAAN consulted Spacefinish to help design and fit-out both the Port Harcourt and Lagos international airports as part of its effort to redefine the experience of travelers passing through its international airports across the country.
Spacefinish which prides itself as a design company reimagining spaces to improve the quality of lives for humans is known for the design of some of the continent’s most iconic workspaces like Google’s first Developer Space in Africa, The PwC Experience Centre, Andela’s Epic Tower amongst others.
In designing the airport, the design company seeks to leave a lasting impression on all travellers by incorporating designs that highlight local culture and various aspects of the lives of the people of Rivers State.
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According to Michael Ndupuechi, one of the company’s designers that worked on the project “some of the questions we asked ourselves at the beginning of the project is how do we tell rich stories of Port Harcourt and River state and how do we leave a lasting impression on the minds of travellers?”
“Port Harcourt is a beautiful city that has had its share of negative media attention. So we thought of ways to bring together different iconic parts of the city to create a unifying theme of the Garden City which Port Harcourt has always been called” – Micheal explained.
In the mural, you’ll see the Mile One market with its colourful umbrellas, the people of Port Harcourt with their resplendent attires, and the greenery of the land, all reemphasizing Port Harcourt as the Garden City.
Opposite the Garden City mural is the Fish-Woman – a celebration of the rich and diverse cultures of Rivers State. Rivers State has over 10 ethnic groups that have co-existed peacefully for centuries, sharing a common interest in fishing as a favourite pastime. This mural at the Departure Lounge pays homage to this inherent reality.
The Floating Fisherman, one of Nigeria’s largest art installations overlooks the executive lounge of the airport. The art installation is suspended 20ft in the air featuring over 700 canoe paddles, 3 lifesize boats, a 9ft fisherman casting a fishing net the size of a volleyball court, and a school of fishes swimming with a 20ft silver shark. The installation mirrors real sea life and it is an allusion to a favourite pastime of Riverians which is fishing.
The Towering Boat, an exaggerated sized boat celebrates a lifestyle predominant in Rivers State. The boat also serves as a thoroughfare in the Departure terminal of the airport, and also a temporary seating area with movable furniture provided around its perimeter.
Airports are sometimes the first and last points of contact for travelers and Spacefinish has ensured that travelers through the Port Harcourt airport have something of the city to take along as with them as they travel. The design company is also currently working on the Lagos International Airport and is expected to deliver the project soon.