Terminal 2, Kempegowda International Airport by

2024 Infrastructure Projects / India / Built in 2023 /

A Terminal in a Garden – Putting nature & biodiversity at the heart of the passenger experience.

Terminal 2 at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru has successfully reinvented the idea of a traditionally stressful and bustling airport. Unlike any other terminal in the world, its innovative design offers passengers an immersive and authentic nature-focused experience; with unique flora sourced from multiple ecological habitats in India, showcasing the beauty of nature and Karnataka’s culture.

The unique flora that adorns the terminal’s interior has been meticulously curated from diverse ecological habitats within India, serving as a captivating tribute to the splendor of nature and Karnataka’s vibrant culture. 600-800-year-old trees meet with over 180 rare, endangered, and threatened species, all combining to cultivate a thriving ecosystem that embraces both India’s heritage and forward-thinking sustainability.

Adding to the garden-like environment is the extensive use of natural materials including bamboo cladding and local natural stone. Lush internal and external gardens punctuate the passenger’s journey, with the centerpiece being a breathtaking 10-metre-tall green wall that runs the length and breadth of the terminal adorned with over 450 extraordinary plant species. The planting not only captivates the eye but also contributes to the terminal’s environmental conditioning, all nourished by an automated irrigation system fed by harvested rainwater.

Reflecting Bengaluru City’s global renown for its picturesque parks and gardens, the new terminal at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru seamlessly encapsulates Karnataka’s rich history and culture. The airport’s expansion, executed in two phases, encompasses a staggering 25.5 ha, poised to accommodate up to 25 million passengers annually.

Creatively overcoming challenges to make the biodiversity focus a reality, T2 includes a lush internal/external landscape whilst accommodating the day to day running of an airport.

The Terminal Gardens


The Slot gardens provide a valuable addition to the arrivals level garden experience, responding to the cut-out locations at departures level, providing 360-degree garden compositions as passengers leave the airport. They provide attractive places to sit and dwell for passengers, meeters and greeters and staff alike. A series of curved walls provide a backdrop to lush shade loving tree planting and secret cooling pools with bubble fountains.


The Hanging gardens are the primary garden element in the overall composition of the check-in garden experience – the ‘wow’ factor. They are a signature used throughout the Terminal, allowing day to day activities to take place underneath.

Consisting of a family of ‘bell’ shaped hanging structures, a number of the bells are planted whilst others are lighting/digital installations. The planting proposed for the bells focuses on more adventurous plant species that provide colour through their leaves and flowers, and provide a three-dimensional form. A carpet of moss and lichen provide the base layer into which a variety of orchids and climbing species are fixed. Finally a variety of Bromeliads and Air Plants are then added to create a rich, mosaic of planting.


The Forest Belt is the unifying garden idea that ties each element of the Terminal together becoming one of the most innovative aspects of the garden Terminal. Every user arrives/departs via the Forest Belt, becoming the first and last Garden experience for every passenger.

The Forest Belt establishes the garden framework for the terminal with different characters, offering a flavour of the Karnataka landscape. All arriving passengers are introduced to Bengaluru with a carefully staged view into the Forest Belt. This is the defining introduction the Terminal in a Garden.


Inspired by the drama of Karnataka and its geology, ecology and waterfalls. The orientation garden provides the spatial threshold between the landside and airside environments. Distinctive and characterful waterfalls and pools define the entrances into the commercial areas for both the International and Domestic passengers. Edges to the planting beds and pools provide resting and orientation points after passengers pass through security, with a double height waterfall cascading from departures level to the arrival’s baggage hall below.


The Sunken Garden is the central statement to the retail area. The garden area and planting opportunities have been optimised through the use of terraces. This has provided the perfect foil to create a series of terraced gardens that drop from departures level down to arrivals mezzanine. The planting is complemented by a number of tumbling waterfall cascades that bring movement and background noise to the gardens. Balconies around the edge and bridges provide perfect places to experience the gardens from retail levels.

Architects – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

** All Images credits – PHOTO CREDITS: Grant Associates / Sreenag Pictures. All graphic illustrations Grant Associates

Location: Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru

KIAL Rd, Devanahalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560300, India

Design year: 2014-2020

Year Completed: 2023


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