The brief for the new Rotorua Airport terminal is a gateway to Rotorua, welcoming and farewelling travelers with the maanakitanga Rotorua was built on. Taking inspiration from the surrounding landscape, the upgraded Rotorua Airport terminal is a collaboration designed by Tim Mein and GHD.
The redevelopment demolished the middle of the original terminal building and remodeled internal spaces, creating a more efficient internal layout and a modern exterior. A glass corridor and landscaping surrounds the building through consultation with a local artist, to ensure designs reflect Rotorua’s Māori culture. This has enhanced airport views and increased natural light whilst creating clear wayfinding for passengers and staff.
Timber was incorporated into the design, showcasing Rotorua’s wood product manufacturing, forestry, and logging sectors to visitors. Building on Rotorua Airport’s sustainability focus, the native timber used throughout is recycled and, where possible, sourced locally.
Native plants were chosen for the landscaping work, creating a visual link that enables visitors to experience the nearby Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island. These culturally significant landmarks are referenced throughout the building, creating a sense of place and showcasing rich Rotorua’s natural and human history.