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STUDIOARO Designs the Great Hornbill Gate at Donyi Polo Airport

Oct 21, 2022 15:28 IST 
Arunachal Pradesh, India

STUDIOARO, a sustainable architecture firm, installs a magnificent structure for the first ever airport at Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. With this, STUDIOARO solidifies its position in the eco-friendly architecture space. 


The Great Hornbill Gate at Donyi Polo Airport

The structure, which is the gateway to the airport, is built over a 2500 sq. ft. area in the shape of the Great Hornbill, the state bird of Arunachal Pradesh. It is built entirely of bamboo and cane, and has a height of 23 feet and a width of 82 feet. The installation was completed in 5 months and took 15 bamboo artisans to shape.

Regarding the inspiration for the structure, Aroty Panyang, Founder & Principal Architect, STUDIOARO, says, “As airports represent flight and the first aeroplanes were inspired by the flight of birds, it was important to consider this aspect in the design of the Donyi Polo airport gate. The structure draws inspiration from the Great Hornbill, the state bird of Arunachal Pradesh. We studied all the aspects of this charismatic bird - the features, the form, and the flight. Some of the most striking characteristics were the beak and how majestic it is in relation to the size of the body and the bird’s great wingspan. These features were incorporated into the design of the gate.

She further added, "The entry gate to the new Donyi Polo airport, built with the themes of bamboo, a material which has a deep tradition and relationship with the region, and the Great Hornbill, the state bird of Arunachal Pradesh, gives a sense of pride to the people of Arunachal Pradesh. It will undoubtedly inspire current and future generations about this great state's cultures and traditions."

Over the past few years there has been a significant increase in the use of bamboo in modern architecture. Due to the development of new science in the treatment and preservation of this unique material, as well as its structural qualities, the viability of incorporating bamboo in modern structures has been established across the industry. Also, due to its traits of being a renewable material, it has been increasingly adopted by modern sustainable architects. In fact, some of the most awarded modern sustainable architecture projects are built with bamboo. However, this is a trend that has been dominated by architecture firms primarily in South East Asia and South America. By building such a landmark structure in India, STUDIOARO has cemented the place of this country’s contribution to this emerging movement. Looking forward, Bamboo will surely be one of most treasured and explored of all building materials, and will continue to make its mark on architecture as a whole. 

STUDIOARO has been established by Aroty Panyang, an architect who specialises in dynamic and innovative structures built with natural ecological materials. She has collaborated with some of the foremost names in the international sustainable architecture movement. In 2018, she established her own practice to focus on combining contemporary design with natural materials in her projects. This dynamic architecture firm now has offices in New Delhi, Goa, and Arunachal Pradesh. Aroty Panyang’s primary passion, in addition to construction in earth, stone, and cane, is building modern parametric design structures with bamboo.


The Great Hornbill Gate at Donyi Polo Airport
The Great Hornbill Gate at Donyi Polo Airport
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