Airline lounges have come a long way in the past decade, and North American lounges are quickly playing catch up. Take, for instance, United’s latest Polaris lounges or WestJet’s first-ever venture in Calgary, Alberta, complete with real fireplaces. Across the globe, there are many airline lounges taking cues from residential design, which may inspire your next renovation.
Cathay Pacific, “The Pier,” First-Class Lounge, Hong Kong
Opened in 2015, Cathay Pacific’s “Pier,” a first-class lounge in Hong Kong International Airport, is a stylish, exclusive haven for a select few. Designed by Studioilse, the London-based design studio led by Ilse Crawford, the 2,061-square-meter lounge is a myriad of natural materials including green onyx, marble, cherrywood, and tactile velvet and leather furnishings. Taking its design cues from the luxury residential sector, the design palette includes bespoke artworks, stunning brass chandeliers, and a horseshoe bar that is the crowning glory of the space. If it wasn’t for the panoramic views of the runway, you’d forget you were in an airport altogether.
Icelandair’s Saga Lounge, Reykjavik
Iceland has been in the limelight recently due to its being an open destination to the world during COVID. However, you may not know that this small—yet striking—country is also an important incubator of global design talent. This is evident in Icelandair’s lounge in Keflavik International airport, where waiting passengers are transported to a warm, cozy environment juxtaposed with volcanic rocks, a cairn, and the views of the Icelandic “lunar” landscape outside. The focal point, however, is the lounge’s warming fireplace, where a jigsaw of comfortable seating lined in wood panels warms the soul.