World's Most Beautiful Airports

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Flight delays are less painful inside a gorgeous, well-designed airport.

Sondika Airport, Bilbao, Spain

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This Santiago Calatrava–designed airport, built in 2000, is nicknamed La Paloma, or the Dove, for its birdlike silhouette. Inside, the terminal is nakedly sculptural, an unadorned study in sunlight and the rhythmic patterns created by its concrete ribs. "It struck me like a contemporary Gaudí kind of place," says Design Within Reach founder Rob Forbes, "fully in keeping with the Spanish/Basque/Catalan tradition of ‘modern baroque.'"

Beauty Mark: Even the parking garage, partially buried in a green hillside, is well thought out and beautiful.

World's Most Beautiful Airports

Sondika Airport, Bilbao, Spain

This Santiago Calatrava–designed airport, built in 2000, is nicknamed La Paloma, or the Dove, for its birdlike silhouette. Inside, the terminal is nakedly sculptural, an unadorned study in sunlight and the rhythmic patterns created by its concrete ribs. "It struck me like a contemporary Gaudí kind of place," says Design Within Reach founder Rob Forbes, "fully in keeping with the Spanish/Basque/Catalan tradition of ‘modern baroque.'"

Beauty Mark: Even the parking garage, partially buried in a green hillside, is well thought out and beautiful.

Arcaid/Alamy
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