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#ProjectoftheWeek: Charlotte Douglas Int Airport Expansion

Wednesday, December 4, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sandra Doherty
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Project: Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Concourse A Expansion Phase 1
Location: Charlotte, NC
Architect(s): Perkins and Will in association with C Design

As the first phase of a 3-pier expansion, this concourse was a paradigm shift in CLT’s approach to the passenger experience.  The design set a new standard for design and finish across the airport campus. To maintain a consistent attitude towards the existing concourses, the new building reinterprets existing architectural motifs into a new and dynamic design concept. Barrel-vaulted spaces in the main terminal are re-envisioned as a broad, asymmetrical wing-like ceiling/roof. Finishes remain cool and crisp, evoking the careful detail and elegance of aircraft. Large expanses of windows, heat islands in the older facilities, become spaces of respite with highly adaptable self-regulating glass. The interior and exterior design work together to provide a new gateway to the airport. The minimalist palette provides a canvas for interior artwork by Refik Anadol that abstracts flight data into ever-changing forms, colors and simulated textures. Lighting sequences are tied to the rhythm of vertical exterior fins and create a memorable brand for the airport’s main entry. This repetitive solution was important both as a stand-alone element and in concert with the additional two concourses that will continue the language to complete ½ mile of lighting and pattern. The curving roof cantilevers out over the entry road as a heroic gesture, punctuating the pattern created by the lights and fins. Regularized phenolic panels form a horizontal base that separates tarmac from the glass boarding level and offers a counterpoint to the vertical fins. This service level includes tenant carrier spaces, baggage handling systems and MEP infrastructure. Floating above the runway, a finely-tuned airfoil shape gives the roofline lift and delicacy. Tapered columns thrust this roof upward, suspending it as if in mid-takeoff. The detailing of this element references an airplane wing, with a panelized metal ceiling and ‘flaps’ that reveal an airy skylight. Interior finishes come together in a refined way, with glass, steel, anodized aluminum, and phenolic panels harmonizing in a restrained palette. This provides a backdrop to warmer and more colorful accents in the restaurants and shops that are the center of activity on the boarding and mezzanine levels.ents in the restaurants and shops that are the center of activity on the boarding and mezzanine levels.

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