October 26, 2016: The new aircraft interior design for Aeromexico’s fleet of Boeing 787-9s has been revealed, designed by New Territory with a focus on passenger wellbeing, particularly with regard to onboard social spaces.
The social space (‘Espacio Premier’) is a departure from the typical branded business-class bar experience with limited seating availability, offering a warmer, more welcoming kitchen-style environment, seamlessly integrated into the broader architecture of the aircraft.
According to transport architecture specialists, New Territory, the design work was grounded in two critical observations. The first was that in-flight experiences should be all about increasing wellbeing and respecting the true context of the passenger. The second is that current bar experiences in the air can often create unwanted subdivisions within a class: people who aren’t feeling particularly sociable or conversational feel reluctant to try and take a seat at a bar or help themselves to refreshments, if they can gain access at all.
Luke Miles, director at New Territory commented, “We’ve thought about aircraft architecture with a view to the future, looking beyond branded interior design and style that so often feels alien to aircraft interiors, as well as to the passenger. Instead we’ve been more sensitive to the airframe to create a space that feels more open, accessible, and more natural for passengers to move around.”
Luke Miles shares his design thinking in an exclusive interview HERE.
A home from home
“The term ‘Beneficio Colectivo’ (collective benefit) helped to frame the design narrative for the social space, as it needed to communicate a sense of openness and of casual, convivial equality,” added Miles. “We observed that not everyone feels relaxed enough to talk when they’re at a bar, so we designed the social space to feel and work less like a traditional bar and more like a beautiful domestic space. Here passengers feel relaxed enough to help themselves to drinks and refreshments, choosing if and how they interact with fellow passengers.”
The notion ‘Espacio Plural’ (multiple spaces) was also used to help frame the new geometry of the space, which was conceived to create more than one aspect, more than one appearance. The faceted design encourages the natural flow of people through the space with its clean, unbroken lines and shifting perspectives that reveal different parts and sections of the bar as you walk through it. The asymmetric forms are also intended to help frame the cabin crew and create an inviting feel into the space. The whole area is contained by a ‘skylight’, a large panel of overhead, flat light that imbues the space with a warm aesthetic.
Above: The lighting effects make the space inviting, and the food and beverage alluring
Lighting that enhances passenger wellbeing
The design team drew upon the notion of ‘Fisonomía Ambiental’ (environmental character) in their approach to lighting: the interaction of people and their environment and vice versa, and the sensory and atmospheric experience of a space. Synthetic colored lighting has been avoided within the cabin, so the focus is on passenger wellbeing, created through warmer, more natural light.
The lighting directly relates to the passenger experience during the flight. For example, a ‘moment of revitalization’ gently wakes passengers before landing, with a soft transition from sleeping to waking achieved using a subtle peach-colored light taken from the color of the sky at daybreak.
Hugo Jamson, associate director at New Territory commented, “We’ve used white light throughout the whole cabin because it feels the most natural, allowing the interior to feel less synthetic and for people to feel as healthy and well within the space as possible. Our sensitively phased lighting scheme complements the rhythm of the flight and how people fit into it.”
A greater sense of continuity between classes has been created by ensuring a consistent, high level of craftsmanship throughout the aircraft with a uniform quality of fabrics and surface finishes in every class. A unique surface treatment pattern has also been created, with different scales and variations used on seat fabrics and surfaces throughout the aircraft, helping to create a greater feeling of continuity between areas and classes.
New Territory was also involved in Zodiac’s Desire Lines concept, which explored new social zone ideas and new ways for passengers to move around the aircraft. Details HERE