Providing world-class airport design for YVR

Vancouver Airport Authority

Year Completed



Vancouver Airport Authority


Vancouver, BC


26 M passengers per year


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Becoming a cohesive extension of the airport design team

For the past 12 years, Skytrax has named Vancouver International Airport (YVR) the best airport in North America, as chosen by passengers. The architecture’s intuitive and contextual airport design makes even the most infrequent passengers feel comfortable and confident.

Our relationship with YVR started over 25 years ago with a high-quality washroom renovation, and we haven’t stopped working with the Airport Authority since.

We’ve become an extension of the YVR team, weaving the ‘Land, Sea and Sky’ narrative into the very fabric of the airport. We’ve led multidisciplinary teams on many diverse projects, including landside and airside operations from terminal expansions and renovations, to hold rooms, new gates, passenger processing, and baggage-handling infrastructure.


In the competitive business of airports, passengers have choice. Our objective has been to work with the YVR team to make Vancouver International Airport the preferred choice.”

Michael McDonald

Consulting Principal



Putting the passenger first

Vancouver is approximately 15 percent closer to Asia than Los Angeles, making it the true gateway to the continent. The entire airport reflects the unique cultures and landscapes that define British Columbia. Every project presents an opportunity for our team to tell another chapter of this story: columns become trees, walls become rock formations, places of rest become mythical West Coast islands.

The challenge is to create an intuitive design with the right balance of storytelling, decision making, and resting points to optimize flow and overall experience ― it’s a choreography, much like a dance.



Evolving and optimizing the airport experience

In conjunction with YVR’s team, we participated in the development and implementation of a thematic master plan that reimagines the airport as a series of chapters, telling stories of British Columbia’s land, sea and sky.

Each new project begins with a collaborative design workshop where we create a vision around a compelling story and integrate YVR’s functional needs into the narrative.


We’ve become an extension of YVR’s team. We’re one of the few privileged firms who get to work with these amazing people every day.”

Martin Nogger




Becoming experts on design and technical operations

YVR’s world class Indigenous art collection also showcases the culture of British Columbia. Each project commits to a presentation of Indigenous art with the intention of enhancing the passenger experience. We work with internationally acclaimed Indigenous artists to integrate themed-art exhibitions into the architecture throughout the airport.

To date, we have been the prime consultant on many projects at YVR, with each uniquely improving the airport’s efficiency, processes, passenger experience, and aesthetics. Our deep knowledge of YVR’s facilities and operations and our shared commitment to design excellence for every project underpin our successful partnership.


Kasian is a valued partner in the ongoing development of our airport, bringing innovative thinking to design and discipline to the administration of construction. They understand how to collaborate with our vision and help achieve a superior experience for our passengers

Christoph Rufenacht

Vice President, Airport Development & Asset Optimization, YVR



Fostering a strong long-term relationship

For every YVR project, we collaborate with multiple stakeholders and work to strike a successful balance that supports YVR’s business objectives. We have curated a group of experts in airport design ― creating value and niched skillsets for our team, and better results for our client. Our work has contributed to YVR being ranked as Skytrax’ number one airport in North America for over a decade.

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