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A cryptic announcement from United hints that Apple is working on a project for the airline company.

It’s no secret that Apple spends a staggering $150 million a year on plane tickets from United. The technology company buys 50 business class seats every day to fly from San Francisco to Shanghai alone. No doubt, all these miles are necessary to coordinate the production of hardware that generates over $250 billion in revenue for Apple year but is actually produced 6,000 miles away from its headquarters. Now, the tech giant seems to have found a customer closer to home: Apple is in discussions with United about something to do with its SFO terminal.

“The Apple team in San Francisco has been in our baggage hold areas, customer service, and the lobbies,” said Linda Jojo, executive vice president at United Airlines Holdings Inc., at an event in Chicago last week, according to Bloomberg. Jojo admitted she was “being deliberately vague” on further details.

So what could those details be? One could easily imagine that Apple could be rethinking technologies to track and check bags, sure, or the way tickets are collected by customers. Apple could also be rethinking the architecture and interior design of the space. Heck, it could be developing the experience design—basically, the whole route of a consumer through a United terminal, down to details like how United employees engage with customers.

All these possibilities are feasible because Apple has executed pieces of them in the past.

Led by Jony Ive, the company’s design team worked closely with architects on their new circular headquarters, Apple Park, down to the furniture inside it. The company developed much of its impactful Apple retail store model, with its open spaces and friendly staff, in-house. And of course, the company has unparalleled expertise with all sorts of microelectronics that could address the logistical infrastructure of moving people and their belongings through the piping that is air travel. That’s all table stakes.

SFO could be a test bed for Apple to tap a new market. After all, built environments are getting smarter and more responsive. Airbnb is literally considering how future homes will reshape themselves to our will. Apple wouldn’t need to reinvent tech as we know it to develop customized iOS products built for travel environments and offices.

Of course, there could also be another motivator at play in Apple’s collaboration with the airline. SFO’s Terminal 3 (where United is located) is kind of shabby, especially by millionaire traveler standards. It’s devoid of the glitz and glam of SFO’s gleaming Terminal 2, which was redesigned by global architecture firm Gensler and won several awards when it opened in 2011. Perhaps money isn’t the primary motivator for Apple’s newest pet project. Perhaps it’s just that with so many Apple employees traveling for work so often, Terminal 3 is really an extension of their office.
In a move that stunned transportation planners around the country, Denver International Airport terminated the contractor team working on a $650-million terminal renovation. The move also ended the airport’s $1.8-billion public-private partnership with Great Hall Partners, a consortium led by Ferrovial Airports, with partners Saunders/JLC Infrastructure.

The contractors released documents showing that the renovation, had GHP stayed on the job, would have cost more than $1 billion. That’s $288 million more than the contract, plus a $120-million contingency. Airport officials insist the project can be done for the original budget.

“This was not a decision arrived at lightly,” said DEN CEO Kim Day in an Aug. 13 news conference announcing the firing. “We are very far apart in cost and schedule and our values.” The termination is effective Nov. 12.

The decision also will cost the airport millions in termination fees and create substantial delays in completing the work. The project is only in the first of three phases, with most of the demolition done, after 13 months of work. The scope includes relocating TSA security positions to the north end of the terminal, consolidating unused ticket counters and adding more food and retail concessions, among other upgrades.

The two sides reached an impasse after months of squabbling. GHP cites multiple change orders, micromanagement by airport officials, and a delay to test concerns about existing weak concrete in the terminal (ENR 3/4-11 p. 5). After three months of testing last winter, the concrete was declared strong enough for construction to proceed. Meanwhile, airport officials allege multiple safety violations and contend that the contracting team was slow to respond to requests for information about cost and schedule. “GHP didn’t secure all of their permits, and we didn’t know how far behind on permits they were,” airport spokesperson Stacey Stegman told ENR. “So we said, ‘If this is happening now in phase one, what would phases two and three be like?’ ”

GHP, which has declined all requests for interviews, responded to the firing in a statement: “We are disappointed with DEN’s decision and strongly disagree with their characterizations of how we have arrived at this point. …The reality is that the project’s time and cost overruns are a direct result of the discovery of weak concrete in some areas of the terminal, which DEN did not disclose to GHP at the outset of the project, and more than 20 large-scale, badly timed and unnecessary change directives issued by DEN to the design they had previously approved.”

The P3 contract, the largest in Denver history, would have extended for 34 years, including four years of construction and 30 years of operations, with GHP building and paying for all improvements and managing the terminal’s concessions after completion. Revenue from concessions would have been split, with 20% going to GHP and 80% to DEN.

P3s Under Scrutiny
“This [contract termination] may launch a period of introspection among airport professionals,” says Robert Alfert, a partner with consultant Nelson Mullins. “It opens up a Pandora’s box. You will see a lot of re-evaluation all over the country where airport P3s are concerned.”

Some insiders fault a cumbersome contract—more than 15,000 pages long—and incompatible teams. “A P3 was not the right way to go from the beginning,” says a former airport employee, who requested anonymity. “In a P3, you need to get out of the way, and airport management insisted on being involved in every detail. Plus, GHP said they could complete the first phase in only 11 months. That was totally unrealistic.”

“It wasn’t the P3,” Stegman insists. “They just weren’t the right partner for us.”

Still, the airport says it plans to finish the project—now with an unspecified completion date—using traditional contracting methods and direct airport oversight, perhaps turning to firms already under contract to complete phase one next spring, and then use a procurement process for the remaining work. Officials say terminal project delays will not affect a concurrent $1.6-billion gate expansion project. The P3 exit negotiations could take months, and cost “a minimum of $200 million,” Stegman says. That price could go even higher, since the airport opted to terminate the c
Except for people who have their own jets, most would agree that the romance of air travel faded long ago. But that isn’t stopping those who want to be on the move. Worldwide, aviation numbers are expected to double to 8.2 billion passengers per year by 2037, say estimates by the International Air Transport Association. Airports everywhere are racing to ramp up capacity, with $737.3 billion-worth of projects in planning, design, or construction globally, according to one industry-analysis firm.

More than many countries, the United States is suffering from outmoded aviation infrastructure, with the average terminal building more than 40 years old. According to T.J. Schulz, president of the Airport Construction Council, at least $70 billion is being spent over five years, beginning in 2017, modernizing 50 medium and large U.S. airports. The lion’s share of this sum is going toward terminals—their revamping, expansion, or construction.

For architects, the focus is not merely on moving travelers from curbside to gate as smoothly as possible but trying to improve the ambience of travel. “It’s not all about speed and efficiency,” says Ryan Fetters, a senior associate in Gensler’s San Francisco office. In a joint venture with Kuth Ranieri Architects, Gensler is part of a design-build team for the landside of the $2.4 billion Harvey Milk Terminal 1 under construction at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The team describes the facility as transparent and daylight-filled, with features such as intuitive navigation, site-specific art, and generous areas for passengers to reorganize their belongings after going through security.

Many architects are trying to elevate the passenger experience by injecting airports with local flavor. “We try to capture the spirit of the place, even if it isn’t a top goal of the client,” says Laura Ettelman, managing partner in the New York office of SOM. Among her firm’s current projects is the 2.4 million-square-foot Terminal 2 at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, India, organized around a series of indoor and outdoor green spaces. The scheme, inspired by the tech hub’s history as a garden city, takes advantage of its benign climate and will offer a “rich, sensory experience,” she says.

For architects dealing with a multitude of complex functional requirements and rapidly advancing technology, terminals are buildings that can quickly become outmoded, says Ettelman’s colleague Derek Moore, SOM aviation practice leader. He points to Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport as the “poster child” of this obsolescence problem. Enclosed by a dramatic, winglike thin-shell roof, the building, which was conceived before the introduction of the first commercial jet, was out of date almost as soon as it opened in 1962.

Since TWA, aircraft have of course continued to evolve, though sometimes in unexpected ways. The latest example is the phaseout of the Airbus A380 announced by the manufacturer in February. Sales of the superjumbo jet, designed for long-haul travel and carrying up to 850 passengers, have been stagnant as airlines opted for smaller planes that use less fuel per seat. Many of the budget airlines that serve regional airports, meanwhile, have been flying fewer flights than before, now with larger aircraft, like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, for similar reasons of economy.

Disruption in the airline industry can make a facility outmoded almost overnight. Pittsburgh International Airport occupies a 1992 terminal designed as a US Airways hub to handle up to 32 million passengers per year, many of them connecting to other flights. But after US Airways merged with American in 2013, traffic hit a low, and the airport now operates primarily as an origin and destination facility, with about 9.5 million passengers annually. Officials plan to “right size” by building a smaller terminal, now in schematic design by a joint venture of Gensler and HDR in association with Madrid-based luis vidal + architects. “We currently have ever increasing maintenance costs and aging infrastructure that we can’t upgrade,” explains Paul Hoback, the airport’s chief development officer.

The changes in how people get to the airport are affecting planning as well. More people are arriving by ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, and revenue from park
Ronny Soh
Confounding complexity, turf tension, head scratching and horse-trading. Inspiration, compromise, exhilaration and, ultimately, enchantment.

The team that shaped a mall to end all malls—Singapore’s all-but-complete Jewel Changi Airport—quashed myriad conflicts during the job. The architecture of the 135,700-sq-meter land-side mall, camouflaged by a vast atrium garden with a record-tall waterfall, divided, united and energized its creators.

“It’s devilishly complex and it’s amazing,” says Meredith Davey, a director of the garden’s London-based indoor-environment consultant, Atelier Ten.

The project, masterminded by design architect Moshe Safdie, would have been difficult enough, considering the busy airport, limited site access and a congested location, with an active elevated train slicing through the center. But the usual constraints of airport expansions don’t hold a candle to Jewel, which is no ordinary mall—airport or not. Its retail levels are hidden by a five-level forest under glass, complete with canyons, a valley and a 40-m-tall waterfall.

“The whole building is a new-scale experience,” says Safdie, founder of the 85-person Safdie Architects, Boston. “When that water comes down, it’s powerful,” says the architect, best known recently for Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands complex, with its surfboard-shaped rooftop park that spans and joins three towers.

Obsession with Gardens
For the more than $1.25-billion Jewel, Safdie, who turns 81 on July 14, combined his lifelong obsession with gardens, water features and human habitat. The 5.6-acre Gardens at Jewel, sited before airport security yet linked to three of the four terminals, not only draws travelers, but is a magnet for the community.

“It’s a new typology,” says Jaron Lubin, Safdie’s principal-in-charge.

“There was a lot of horse-trading” to work out equipment locations, says WET’s Freitas. “Eventually, we came to a mutually unsatisfactory agreement,” he adds. The goal was for “everyone to be equally unhappy,” he says, only half joking.

The group functioned like a bridging design-build team, taking documents through design development and then handing them to the design-build contractor, the Woh Hup-Obayashi Joint Venture. RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Pte Ltd. is both executive architect and structural engineer. Mott MacDonald is the mechanical-electrical-plumbing engineer.

Though not the architect of record, Safdie insisted, as always, on staying involved through construction. “We worked very closely with the contractor,” says Charu Kokate, the Safdie principal who led four other architects on site. “It was hard to tell who was the architect and who was the contractor,” she says.
Trevor Mein
Landini Associates’ design of McDonald’s In The Sky at Sydney International Airport combines familiarity with inventiveness to deliver a memorable customer experience.

When the McDonald brothers opened their new drive-in in San Bernardino in 1948, it was a revolution in food service that ushered in a new era of fast- food automation. The McDonalds rationalized the commercial kitchen, streamlined processes and invented implements and equipment, replacing traditional food preparation techniques with assembly line procedures. And all of it was visible through the counter-to-ceiling glass window that wrapped the octagonal building. Dubbed the “fishbowl,” the kitchen captivated customers and the food preparation system became an attraction in itself.

The kitchen is also the star attraction at the new McDonald’s in Terminal 1 of Sydney International Airport. It is a spectacle of colour and movement elevated above the kitchen and enclosed in yellow glass. “Airports are places where you can and should do unusual and cutting-edge things,” says Mark Landini, creative director of Landini Associates. “We exposed the machinations of making the product and expressed what McDonald’s is: innovative leaders in the industry.” Add to that the electronic ordering system and conveyer belt for food delivery, which have automated McDonald’s fast-food service even further.

The concept emerged from Landini Associates’ design for a flagship McDonald’s in Hong Kong, and is also a practical and creative response to the space. In Hong Kong, Landini Associates exposed the kitchen and introduced kiosk ordering technology. In Terminal 1, Landini Associates used the volume of the building due to restricted floor space.

McDonald’s In The Sky is located through security, amidst other food and beverage outlets. It is next to a large panoramic window offering views of aeroplanes taking off and landing, with chairs and tables for customers and departing passengers in between. The kitchen floats above the service counter in a yellow glass box, whose panels, with the brand’s golden arches, also serve as signage. Like a glowing beacon, it resolves visibility issues in a space that is busy, loud and visually noisy.

On the ground, the service counter wraps around two sides of the internal volume clad in a charcoal terrazzo-look tile and has simple, intuitive signage: Order and Collect. Customers place their order at the front counter or via kiosks with easy-to-use screen interfaces. McDonald’s products are ordered from one counter, McCafé items from another, and food and drinks are collected at the rounded corner in between.

The commercial kitchen is visible through the glass walls of the kitchen, allowing customers to see the food production and delivery. Employees become part of the spectacle of the kitchen, and a conveyer belt looping around and down transports the bagged food to the collection counter. “The experience we all seek these days is being served quickly. We have delivered ease of purchase and added some theatre,” says Landini. Indeed, these moving parts provide an element of entertainment that enhances the customer experience in an environment where people are typically watching and waiting.

The design is not only intended to enhance the customer experience, but also the staff experience. “We’re really proud of our restaurants and are always looking to give our customers the best possible dining experience. We also want our crew to have a great working experience and the design is definitely one contributing factor to this,” says Josh Bannister, McDonald’s senior development director. And as McDonald’s states on its job advertisements, “The kitchen is where all the action happens.”

The yellow-coloured film on the glass serves as a beacon from across the terminal. The floor has terrazzo textured square tiles with black grout – a familiar sight in McDonald’s kitchens across the world.
MAD Architects
MAD Architects has unveiled a snowflake-shaped design for Terminal 3 of Harbin Taiping International Airport that draws inspiration from the region’s snowy landscape and boasts greater operational efficiency and energy savings as compared to typical terminal architecture. Located in the capital of China’s Heilongjiang Province, the Harbin Taping International Airport is one of the largest transportation hubs in Northeast Asia. The new Terminal 3 will greatly expand the airport’s capacity and cover an area of 3,300 hectares.

As with almost all of MAD Architects’ work, the Harbin Taiping International Airport’s Terminal 3 design evokes a futuristic feel with sinuous lines and modern materials. The terminal will consist of ancillary airport facilities, including ground transportation hubs, a hotel, retail and parking lots. The ridges on the roof, which mimic snowdrifts and the gentle slopes of China’s Northern plains, serve as skylights that bathe the interior with natural light and warmth. Lush indoor gardens connect the building’s different levels and delineate major zones in the terminal.

“Like a snowflake that has gently fallen onto the earth, it creates an architectural poetry that settles into its locale, while simultaneously expressing itself as a surreal, interstellar space of future air travel,” the architects explained. “While the massiveness of the terminal is inevitable, MAD’s design manages to establish an architectural program that is human-scale and provides a multi-sensory experience that is also efficient and energy saving. The scheme’s snowflake-shaped, five-finger departure corridors greatly shorten the time it takes for passengers to arrive at their gate, while also minimizing congestion and improving the overall efficiency of the airport apron.”

Once complete, Terminal 3 will be seamlessly connected to Harbin City via the Ground Transportation Center hub that offers high-speed rail, municipal subway lines, airport buses and other urban transit together. MAD Architects’ focus on efficiency and energy saving is particularly important, given the forecasts for the new terminal: by 2030, Terminal 3 is expected to cater to 43 million passengers annually, with approximately 320,000 outgoing flights per year.

Building Enclosure
The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has set an ambitious goal: to become a Net Zero Energy airport. One of the ways this airport is achieving this is by incorporating renewable energy technologies into new buildings, including the Consolidated Administration Campus (CAC), which is Net Zero Energy capable. The 135,000 square foot building was designed by two architectural firms, Perkins + Will and Mark Cavagnero Associates.

To contribute to sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives, more than 55,000 square feet of BENCHMARK Designwall 2000 Architectural Wall Panels from Kingspan were selected.

Kingspan’s Designwall 2000 panels contain polyisocyanurate foam core insulation that has been GREENGUARD Gold certified, so they have been third-party tested to ensure that their components are not harmful to building occupants and do not adversely impact indoor environment quality (IEQ). The GREENGUARD Gold certification can help earn credits for LEED certification, Green Guide for Health Care, Green Globes and other rating programs.

“The building is net zero energy capable with a modeled energy use intensity score of 25, so the internal systems and exterior envelope were designed holistically to support those goals,” said Sarah Rege, senior project manager at Perkins + Will.

SFO’s CAC building was awarded LEED Gold status by the United States Green Building Council. That designation is a high priority for SFO, as it is aiming to become a net zero energy campus by 2021. If successful, it will be the world’s first net zero energy airport campus.

The insulated metal panels were installed both horizontally and vertically on the exterior walls as well as soffits. The design called for an extensive use of extrusions; more than 700 were used on the base, walls, corners and parapet of the building. In addition to extrusions, approximately 4,000 feet of flashing was used to give the CAC building a finished, modern look.

“Insulated metal panels provide an ideal exterior cladding to meet a very high energy conservation target for this project,” said Kang Kiang, partner at Mark Cavagnero Associates. “Additionally, the panels provide exceptional acoustic insulation properties, ideal for a site with close adjacency to traffic and plane noise.”

The SFO Consolidated Administration Campus (CAC) houses workers from four departments – administration, landside, terminal and airside operations. The CAC is also home to the SFO Museum, common areas, retail shops and a café.

“We have a 5,000-acre campus with an asset portfolio of over 14.5 million square feet, across nearly 70 buildings that currently consume 440GWh of energy each year. If we can get to zero, what’s stopping others?” said SFO’s Chief Development Officer Geoff Neumayr.
According to a new environmental review document, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is poised for a large expansion that could add up to two new terminals and nearly two dozen new gates to help handle the influx of travelers headed to the city for the 2028 Olympic Games.

Urbanize.LA reported that the plans call for attaching the new Concourse 0 terminal and its 11 passenger gates to the east of the existing Terminal 1 structure along the northern end of the LAX complex. A second new terminal, Terminal 9, will bring 12 new gates to the southern end of the airport, where it will be met by an extended run of a forthcoming automated people mover (APM) that is currently under construction.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the expansion plans include reconfiguring existing airplane runways, including on the northern end of the airport, where earlier plans to retool runway facilities produced outcry from neighboring communities concerned about noise, pollution, and other negative impacts. The proposed runway changes involve reconfiguring the airport’s road network while maintaining the current distance from those communities.

The plans come as Los Angeles World Airports, the entity that runs LAX, works to complete a $14 billion facilities upgrade plan for the airport’s existing roads, terminals, and associated transportation facilities.

That plan includes a $1.6 billion Gensler and Corgan–designed terminal that will bring 12 new gates to a mid-field site capable of handling new “super-jumbo” airplanes for long-haul international flights. The project, known as the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) will connect to the existing and recently-expanded Tom Bradley International Terminal via a pair of underground tunnels that will feature moving sidewalks.
Also included in the staff report to the authority was the fact that California state law allows a public agency to require a PLA. Lawmakers in many other states, however, don't. Last month, Kentucky became the 25th state to enact anti-PLA regulations mandated by state and local government agencies. Kentucky’s new law keeps its public agencies from requiring that bidders sign on to PLAs, although it does not ban the agreements altogether nor does it prevent contractors from entering into voluntary PLAs.

One of the arguments that opponents of PLAs use is that these agreements raise the cost of construction because higher union wages, fringe benefits and other perks that open shop contractors don’t always pay are written in. If nonunion contractors want to work on a PLA project, they must agree to abide by the agreement's terms.

However, on a $35 million wastewater treatment plant project in Ogdensburg, New York, using a PLA is projected to save taxpayers about $900,000, the Watertown Daily Times reported. An engineering and consulting firm hired to study the impact of a PLA on construction found that the city could save money by negotiating the end to some breaks, reclassifying some types of work and exempting the project from a local law that requires general, electrical, plumbing and HVAC work to be bid separately. Critics of the company conducting the study have criticized its methodologies and have accused it of pro-union bias.

Groups like the Associated Builders and Contractors have consistently fought against PLA mandates imposed by public agencies, claiming that they restrict participation by open shop contractors.
Design for airport is from JV of Studio Gang, SCB, STL, Corgan and Milhouse Engineering

,Chicago has chosen Studio ORD JV Partners' design for the $8.5-billion O'Hare International Airport expansion, which includes a 2.2-million-sq-ft global terminal and concourse.

"Today we congratulate Studio ORD which has proven they have the experience, expertise, and the talent needed to work with the City of Chicago as we usher in a new era at O’Hare," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), who has championed the expansion project as an economic engine for the entire region and worked to get the deal wrapped up to start construction before he leaves office in the weeks following the April 2 mayoral run-off election to choose his successor.

Lead designer Jeanne Gang is the founding principal and lead designer of Studio Gang based in the city's Wicker Park neighborhood. Chicago-based architecture firms Solomon Cordwell Buenz, STL Architects and Chicago-based engineer Milhouse Engineering and Construction are also on the team. The engineering discipline manager listed on the Studio ORD site is Myesha McClendon, a native Chicagoan who was one of ENR Midwest's Top Young Professionals this year.

Studio ORD's design proposal has a three-part terminal that wraps around a sky-lit atrium. During the public comment portion of the competition, Studio ORD said in statements that the design is inspired by the airport’s original name — Orchard Field, which is why O'Hare still uses the ORD airport designation today.

Studio ORD beat out teams from Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza, Foster Epstein Moreno, Santiago Calatrava and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for the O'Hare job. Only SOM's proposal, for which it partnered with Chicago's Ross Barney Architects led by Carol Ross Barney, could compete with the number of Chicago-based firms in Studio ORD's roster.

The Chicago Dept. of Aviation said the evaluation committee, which never made its membership public, picked Studio ORD in accordance with the city's request for proposals, issued in June 2018. The RFP called for the lead architect to be selected based on multiple criteria, including its ability to meet budget and schedule requirements, airport regulatory requirements and local participation requirements. Additional criteria specified sustainable design plans that would qualify the new O’Hare Global Terminal and Global Concourse for LEED Gold status.

“The selection of the team to design the O’Hare Global Terminal represents a first step forward in redefining the experience for travelers around the world,” said Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee in a statement. “While we congratulate Studio ORD, we applaud all of the teams for bringing forward incredible proposals, and thank the public for their input in this process."

Studio ORD said it is looking forward to negotiating with Chicago to move the design process forward and takes seriously the responsibility of designing a better experience for the 83 million passengers that pass through O'Hare annually.

“The new global terminal and global concourse is a critical project for unlocking both O’Hare’s potential to be a leader in aviation and Chicago’s future success as a contemporary, economically strong, and truly global city,” said Gang in a statement. “As a native Chicagoan, I understand deeply the importance of O’Hare to our city’s identity, and I am honored that my hometown has provided my team the opportunity to realize a design that can demonstrate Chicago’s unique culture, traditions, and diversity to visitors and residents alike.”
Peter Walker Partners Landscape
The addition is set to open this spring.

With features like an indoor forest, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, treetop walking trails, retail (a retail galleria will feature more than 280 retail and food and beverage outlets and a 130-room hotel), and gathering spaces, the 1.4 million-sf Jewel Changi Airport addition will create a new model for airports as a destination for community activity, entertainment, and shopping.

The core of Jewel is the Forest Valley, a terraced indoor landscape that will feature walking trails and seating areas among more than 200 species of plants. The Forest Valley will also feature the world’s tallest indoor rain-fed waterfall, dubbed The Rain Vortex. The Rain Vortex will shower water down seven stories from a central open oculus in the domed roof. The waterfall will have nightly light shows that integrate sound and projections from 360 degrees around the Vortex.

The steel and glass structure of the roof spans more than 650 feet at its widest point and uses only intermittent supports in the garden, which results in a nearly column-free interior. The roof’s geometry is based on a semi-inverted toroid (think of a donut) with the waterfall at its center.

Canopy Park will be located on the fifth level and include 150,000 sf of attractions within the garden spaces, such as net structures suspended within the trees, a suspended catenary glass-bottomed bridge walk, a planted hedge maze, a topiary walk, horticultural displays, and an event plaza for 1,000 people.

The Jewel is slated to open in spring 2019. Safdie Architects designed the project. BuroHappold Engineering handled the building structure and facades and Mott MacDonald handled MEP duties.
Trevor Mein of Mein Photography
(CNN) — You've battled your way through crowds at check-in and made it through the stress of security. Finally, you see the gleaming doorway to relaxation: It's official, you've made it to the airport lounge.

For those lucky enough to travel business, the airport lounge is an integral part of the travel experience. An airy, Zen space with plentiful supplies of food and drink, magazines to browse and seating suited to sleeping, working and chilling.

The airport lounges of 2019 are outfitted with power sockets at every turn, hair salons and spas -- fulfilling your every need before you get on the plane to your final destination.

And then there's the aesthetic. The lounges are sometimes more stylish than the hotel you've been staying in -- think streamlined design, striking modern art and vast outdoor terraces.

Architect David Loyola has been designing aviation-themed spaces for over 20 years on behalf of multidisciplinary architectural firm Gensler.

His work spans the globe, from Air New Zealand's tech-savvy lounge at Sydney International Airport to Copa Airlines' leafy lounge at El Dorado International Airport in Colombia.

So how do you begin designing an airport lounge?
"It really starts with the airline. Every airline is different," Loyola tells CNN Travel.

The first lounge the designer worked on was back in the early '00s -- the One World Alliance lounge at LAX.

"I was working with Qantas, Cathay Pacific and British Airways because they all had a stake in that project. So you can imagine three very different points of view, working together," he recalls.

The architect has since worked extensively with Star Alliance, a network that includes Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and United.

He's also designed lounges for individual airlines.

"It starts with their brand -- is it a new design or a lounge they want to continue? And the other thing we've seen recently, is -- is there a sense of place?"

Each airline has a different aesthetic and therefore embraces a different vibe.

"Air New Zealand is very forward on technology and was very much wanting to have things like food theater in their lounges -- to really kind of set the mark," says Loyola.

Other airlines want their lounge to be about the spirit of the destination -- Loyola worked with Copa Airlines on their lounge in Colombia, and says Panama's flagship carrier was keen that the space reflected a flavor of Latin America.

The lounge is important, Loyola says, because it's usually a traveler's last memory of the country they've been visiting.

If you're a traveling executive, you might not have seen much of the country you've been visiting beyond conference rooms and hotel restaurants. The lounge can offer you a sense of place.

"There are memories that the lounge can invoke, which is kind of the exciting part because every airline has something different," says Loyola.

The first step, Loyola says, is to produce a floor plan and work out how many seats will need to be accommodated in the design.

The average lounge user is a business traveler, usually traveling alone or with one other colleague.

But lounges also want to accommodate vacationers, families and couples -- the lounge needs to have seating to suit all.

Across the board, whether an airline is working with a small space or a larger lounge, Loyola says they want to get as many people in the space as possible.

"Space is a premium, because most airlines want to maximize seating capacity," says the architect.

"The last thing they want to do is turn away a business traveler because there's not a seat -- and so we do maximize seating capacity and try to minimize back of house."

Increasing density while ensuring the space doesn't feel overcrowded -- and leaving space for luggage storage and facilities -- is always a challenge, but one Loyola says they can usually make work.

He also points out that an airport lounge has a far higher turnover than, say, a restaurant or hotel bar.

Lounges need to have durable furniture that is built to last.

One change over the last 5-10 years, Loyola notes, is that every seat in the lounge needs to have easy access to a power socket.

"Everyone's charging an iPhone or an iPad or a tablet," says Loyola. "100% of the seats need to hav
Denver International Airport
The renovation of the Great Hall of Denver International Airport’s iconic Jeppesen Terminal, roofed by a series of peaked tensile tents that echo the nearby mountains, has hit a bump. Routine but limited concrete testing of the nearly quarter-century-old terminal’s elevated floor slab, to determine whether the floor could support crane loads, shows the compressive strength of the concrete in certain sections is lower than was specified for the original project, more than 25 years ago.

Though other work continues, steel erection is delayed to allow for additional tests and the time needed to better understand the existing conditions. “Experts in the field of structural engineering have informed us that the airport is safe and can support the construction,” says Stacey Stegman, senior vice president for marketing and communications for the airport, known as DEN. It isn’t uncommon for existing conditions not to match the as-builts, she says.

In April, DEN expects to have additional test results analyzed by its experts. At that time, there may be adjustments made to the schedule or to the means and methods. For example, “do we need to use a different type of crane?” asks Stegman.

In addition to compressive strength tests, a test was conducted that showed aggregate in the sample has properties that, under certain environmental circumstances, could lead to an alkali silica reaction. However, the current samples show no indication of an ASR issue, Stegman says.

Live Load

The airport, owned by the city and county of Denver, opened in 1995. The 1.5-million-sq-ft terminal has six levels beneath its 249,000-sq-ft fabric roof. The fabric tents were selected, among other reasons, because they can span 150 ft across the hall, according to the architect, C.W. Fentress J.H. Bradburn and Associates PC (ENR 9/7/92 p. 28), now Fentress Architects. The floor was designed for a live load of 250 psf to accommodate erection equipment for the 126-ft-tall steel roof masts that bear on the main floor.

The typical required live loading for an airport terminal occupancy is 100 psf, says Stegman.

The hall’s 3.5-year phased renovation, mostly to improve levels five and six, started last July. The project, which is ongoing in an active airport, is a public-private partnership with Denver Great Hall LLC, consisting of Ferrovial Airports, JLC Infrastructure and Saunders Concessions. Other equity partners include Magic Johnson Enterprises & Loop Capital; design-build partners Ferrovial Agroman and Saunders Construction; architectural firms Luis Vidal + Architects, Harrison Kornberg Architects and Anderson Mason Dale; legal adviser Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and financial adviser Citibank.
Studio Gang, Santiago Calatrava, Fentress Architects, Fiaster + Partners ,SOM
The designs for the new O'Hare terminal being released today represent a whole new look for an aged airport.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hoped to make a statement to the world when he launched an international competition for a lead architect to design the new terminal at O’Hare International Airport, an “iconic” 21st century facility intended to be the centerpiece of the airfield's $8.5 billion expansion.

The mayor appears to have gotten what he wanted.

Though lots of practical details about cost, schedule and engineering will have to be resolved, the artists' renditions of the five finalists' proposals being released today as a whole are aesthetic marvels.

Architecture critic Edward Keegan will comment in detail on what the "starchitects" have produced. But the designs as a group are wholly unlike anything now at O’Hare, filled with light, creature comforts and soaring roofs, surrounded by greenery—all in all, a generation beyond what now is O'Hare's best passenger facility, the now 34-year-old Terminal 1 that United Airlines and its partners occupy.

The five finalists, selected from 12 teams that responded to the city’s request for qualifications, each submitted videos illustrating their ideas.

One, headed by Denver's Fentress Architects, which designed that city’s new airport, features curved roofs and skylights, somewhat reminiscent of the old Lambert Field in St. Louis.

The second comes from a group led by Foster + Partners of London, best known here for designing Michigan Avenue's new Apple Store. It has even higher interiors, and from above resembles a cloud bank.

Chicago's Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, designer of the Willis and Trump Towers, proposes a more conventional look, basically a light-colored box, sort of like McCormick Place's Lakeside Center in pastel.

In comparison, the design from a group headed by Spanish native Santiago Calatrava is absolutely eye-popping, a trestled structure that resembles a plane from above, with the area in between the wings filled with large gardens. Calatrava has run into performance and cost problems in other projects, such as the new Ground Zero transportation center in lower Manhattan, but there's nothing limited about his vision for this proposal.

But fully in the running, too, is a fifth group headed by Jeanne Gang’s Studio Gang, designer of the under-construction Vista Tower. Its design (at top of story) is filled with lots of natural wood, not just glass and metal like most of the others.