Control room of Hong Kong international airport
by Design Systems


Hong Kong studio Design Systems have completed the interior of the control room at Hong Kong international airport.

Called Functional Aesthetic, the project was designed to accommodate two teams - one to carry out daily operations and a second to deal with emergencies.

Lighting is installed on the sides of triangular blocks that form the room's ceiling, in order to reduce reflections on the workers' computer screens.

These blocks point inwards and centre on the workstation of one manager responsible for both teams.

Walls and furniture in the control room feature perforated extruded-aluminium panels to absorb sound.

Here's some more information from Design Systems:


Functional Aesthetic

Here are photos of the control centre (around 600m²) in the Hong Kong International Airport, designed by Design Systems Ltd.

The special functions of the centre require extremely high technical performance and specification for lightings and sound insulation. The design rooted in its functions first, and eventually also makes it become architectural features of the space.

The control center located in the Hong Kong International Airport which has two main functions: daily operations & emergency management.

Functional areas

The control center is divided to three main functional areas: daily management & operations, operation manager and emergency management.

Structure of IAC

The operation of the entire centre lies on a key man——the operation manager who is responsible for not only management of daily operation but also communication between emergency management team and daily operation team. With attempt to enhance the two team’s relationship, the operation manager was intentionally located in the central position between the other two areas.

Daily Operation Room is used for 24 staffs operating the computer and receiving controller’s instructions from the big screen.

In Emergency Management Room, there is an oval/egg-shaped council board where the administrators hold a conference for emergency, such as terrorist attack.

Special-designed ceilings

Special-designed ceilings are the unique feature in the Integrated Airport Center (IAC) of Hong Kong Airport. Light fittings are installed in the flank of the ceilings so that light can be reflected on the back of the flank, hence preventing glare occurred on computer’s screens.

This arrangement also makes the centre of the ceilings point to the manager’s position in order to highlight his central function.

Custom-designed aluminum extrusions

Custom-designed aluminum extrusions with perforations are used as the wall and furniture front panels. The louvre on the panels prevent sound wave from rebounding to the operation hall.

Other details:
Company:Design Systems Ltd.
Host designer:Lam Wai Ming
Designer:Fanny Leung , Esther Yeung , Kent Wong
Photography:Design Systems Ltd.
Client:Hong Kong International Airport
Main Contractor: Kaden Construction Ltd.

Posted on Thursday November 5th 2009 at 12:44 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Decent project… Camera phone photos? Haha. Was this undercover?

  • chris

    looks interesting….a pity the photos are so bad though….

  • Wadi

    Welcome in the worlds coldest office !
    I love the sealing, but it looks soo cold in there- nice for a techno party-location, but definetly too brutal to work there. inspired by the war room from Ken Adam?

    Be worried not happy.

  • Rori

    Rather disappointing (being from HK, I wanted this project to carry the same quality as the others published by Dezeen but was quickly discouraged).

    The overall diagram does not have the clarity other Dezeen published projects have. While wood, aluminum and glass are all came from the modern material palettes, the applications appear muddy. The most interesting aspect is the manager’s location in relation with the ceiling. However, it appears that all the operators are facing away from the manager.

    While the ceiling is interesting. It’s story would be more convincing if it was about acoustics (recessed indirect lights reduce glare, not a light source on a mostly vertical surface. I would imagine the operators will receive glare from lights further behind them on their monitors.

    The aluminum panels will probably serve well as acoustical panels but it does not appear to be the simplest system ( I believe good design is to simplify).

    Finally, the writing quality is rather poor in the “information from Design Systems” section. Some phrases and sentences make more sense after being translated into Chinese.

    Sorry for being critical. I had a high expectation when I saw the heading.

  • Kent

    The ceiling and lighting design is not to prevent glare on the monitors. The dropped-down ceiling panels are orienated to the veiwing direction of the operators, so that when the operators looking up at the projection screens, they will not see any direct light source.

    I think it is a quite smart design and looks very cool.

    Not very agree with Rori’s comment, seems a bit harsh but shallow. Sorry for being critical and my english writing quality is also very poor.

  • xing

    Good to see other design approach in Hong Kong rather than the over-designed shopping malls and super deluxe residential showflat.

    At least somethings different in this commercial city. Can see some efforts spent in this job. Good try and keep going.

  • lansy


  • This is a creative and beautiful project. I’m a HK based interior designer as well. Here is hardly to convince the client and thus build a project like this, especially for a local designer. Most people here would rather like to see and talk super deluxe or furniture showroom like showflats. i appreciate the effort and creativity very much and looking froward to see more interesting HK projects.