March 03, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Richmond, Air / Airports
Hey everyone! Today was really a special treat! I was given access to shoot inside the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), easily one of the most beautiful airports in the entire world. Located on Sea Island, which is a part of Richmond, it stands as the gateway to the Lower Mainland. Thanks to some handy connections, I was even given clearance to go post security, which really gave me some great opportunities for video.
The airport has been around and served Vancouver and its surrounding suburbs since 1929, though it has gotten many makeovers, additions, and facelifts since. The present terminal, and the one seen the in the video, was completed in 1968 and is accompanied by four runways. Upon first entering, one can’t help but notice the striking Pacific Northwest Coast Native Art deco almost everywhere. It’s very well done and is a great touch that adds a lot of BC flavour to the building. This accompanied by the copious use of glass, greenery, and natural light creates a very welcoming and vibrant air to the entire building. Speaking of greenery, YVR is probably one of the only airports in the world to feature a full ‘park’ with a man-made stream and waterfall inside its International Terminal. (Post security- sorry! Have to fly to see this one!) Though I wasn’t able to see the waterfall, the stream area is just beautiful, and really sticks out as a memorable spot in the airport.
Just down from this stream, is the much talked about aquarium- the largest one in an airport in the world. This 114,000 litre glass ecosystem supports approximately 850 native species of BC marine life and is a stunning display as the centre piece of the room. Accompanying it is also (my personal favourite) a separate tank featuring 100 moon jellyfish. Unfortunately I was not able to shoot this one, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes and it’s quite something to behold. These two massive aquatic exhibits are maintained by the Vancouver Aquarium and help you forget you’re in an airport!
Beyond that, there is also a great public observation deck located just above the food court in the Domestic Terminal. This is a great place to meet for lunch or spend some time just watching the aircraft arrive and depart through massive floor to ceiling windows. Quite a bit of the footage I took in the video was from this perch, as there was always lots of activity below! Though I didn’t show it, there was also an interactive map and kiosks that offer lots of information about the airport to travelers. I did the YVR airport quiz to test my knowledge and I got 0/10. (OUCH! I hope you do better! I’ve since done my homework!)
The Vancouver International Airport is a truly stunning building and functions as the gateway to Vancouver, Richmond, and all the Lower Mainland. I’ve only touched on a few of the key features this building has to offer – it is literally dripping with BC flavour. The next time you’re travelling, take some time to enjoy all the amazing work that has been put into our airport! It truly is a gem of BC, and of Richmond!
P.S. Special thanks goes out to my friend and colleague Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for providing stills for the shoot this week!