Lounge Act

Why every carrier doesn't hire its own well-known industrial designer escapes us. Qantas airways brought in Marc Newson—appropriately Australian—as creative director in 2005, and its new first-class lounge at the Sydney Airport is his latest big accomplishment. And we do mean big. The 20,000-square-foot space designed with Parisian architect Sébastian Segers features 16-foot ceilings, a library, a vertical garden with more than 8,000 plants, and all the spa and cosmetic services any passenger could want. Each area is divided by enormous American oak sculptures, with unique sound tracks composed especially to suit the mood. Next year you'll also be able to look out the floor-to-ceiling windows and see the airline's new fleet of gigantic Airbus A380s. Long layovers have never been such bliss.