A Week at the Airport
In fact they have also been called non-places.
Marc Auge coined the phrase to refer to places of transience, where people were just 'passing through'. (Some other interesting non-places would include supermarkets, hotel rooms or even escalators in tube stations....)
Preview some of Auge's book on Google Books here. Read p.77 onwards for some interesting provocations on non-places.
A while back, Alain de Botton spent a week living and working at Heathrow's new Terminal 5 building. He spent time talking to people who worked there, or who were just passing through.
I was intrigued to see the book, which was handed out to people who used the airport, and last weekend I managed to get a second hand copy from the bookshop in Cley-next-the-Sea.
It's an interesting and brief read, accompanied by some good images.
I'll be back at an airport next week for a flight to Dublin...