I recently flew internationally for the first time (JFK-LHR) and, when flying through LHR, found myself surprised at its design philosophy. It seems that there was basically one big gigantic hub with a "departures lounge" in the center of the facility surrounded by restaurants and a veritable shopping emporium, then radiating out from that a series of barren hallways (with moving sidewalks) leading away to the gate -- something like a ten or fifteen-minute walk away.
I'm more used to American airports where even the little second-tier regional airports have restaurants and amenities distributed throughout the terminal among the gates - so I was surprised and a little confused, until I figured out what was going on.
Clearly the underling architectural and design philosophy of these airports is different. Are there even names for these philosophies? What historical reasons gave rise to these different layouts? Are certain layouts strongly preferred in different parts of the world?