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    Our Organic Airport

    by James Diewald and Michael Frederick

    U.S. airports are being continually retrofitted to meet the latest demands of security and growing passenger volumes gathering climate crisis notwithstanding. One result of ad hoc remodels is an overcrowded, inconvenient, frustrating experience for travelers. To seek solutions to these problems in a new airport design paradigm, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated a competition for a million-square-foot (93,000-square-meter), 24-gate facility dubbed 38 N 82 W Regional Airport. The students who won the competition describe their process working with a variety of digital media for designing an airport that improves traveler experience while providing a distinctive, legible spatial structure and minimally invasive security. Editor

    Linear satellite concourses, like those at the Atlanta or Denver international airports, are highly flexible and efficient and offer a physical separation of program elements, promoting security. However, the transition from the landside services (baggage and ticketing) to the concourse is interrupted and complicated by long lines, security checkpoints, and an overcrowded underground tram system.

    To solve these problems, our design proposal merges security screening procedures with transit to the concourse. The landside services adopt a hybrid typology resembling both a railway station and an airport. These spaces are direct, easy to navigate, and produce a perceptible entry and exit to the airport.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Ticketing hall of an airport terminal that received top honors in a design competition sponsored by the ACSA and the DHS.
    Image: James Diewald and Michael Frederick

    ArchWeek Image

    In the ticketing area, digital elements were rendered separately then combined in Adobe Photoshop for the final image.
    Image: James Diewald and Michael Frederick

     

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