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Edmonton International Airport Expansion

The Long Hall – an airport expansion designed not to feel like one

Edmonton, Alberta

How do you make a half-kilometer (over a quarter mile) corridor not feel like an endless and insurmountable trek.

That was the challenge facing Stantec when we were awarded the Edmonton International Airport expansion project. Passenger traffic was growing. The economy was booming. The airport needed more capacity, but the only way to expand was straight out along a wing that was already long.

The solution uses the architecture to break up the space, giving passengers the sense that they’re moving through a succession of rooms, rather than along an endless hallway. And the “rooms” are passenger gates, so differentiating them by varying the roof form makes them easier to find, something the average—often harried—traveler will welcome.

The expansion builds on a project completed by Stantec (as part of the EIA3 consortium) 8 years ago. One of its most memorable features is the living wall, the first in any airport in North America. A full two stories high, it’s hard to miss, and serves as a symbol of the airport’s commitment to sustainable design. This expansion is the first LEED Gold Certified airport terminal in Canada.

The Living Wall

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>BECKER: The living wall is unique and certainly in airports.</p> <p>SMITH: The living wall is a truly spectacular entry experience for passengers as they descend the escalators or stairs and move into the Canada customs and immigration facility. It acts not just as a very spectacular visual feature, but it also helps to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen – which is what plants do – in an interior environment. So both from a sustainability point of view, and from a visual aesthetic point of view, it’ll be a feature that will truly set this airport apart.</p> <p>BECKER: It’s an amazing vision of sustainability. It’s easy to touch, it’s easy to see. It’s not like our mechanical system, or our special LED lighting, or the fact that we collect rainwater off the roof to use in the toilets, but you don’t know that, you don’t see it. So at least this is visible, it’s in your face, it makes you think, and that’s a very important part of sustainability is getting people thinking about what it is.</p> <p>SMITH: We feel very proud of having the first large-scale living wall installed in an airport terminal anywhere in the world that we’re aware of.</p>

A very important part of sustainability is getting people thinking about what it is.

The Art of An Airport

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>Art serves a number of purposes in an airport terminal. Apart from just providing pleasure as art should, I think it also acts as a key wayfinding device. If there are significant pieces of artwork that people remember, then it helps them to orient themselves inside an airport terminal, which obviously is a fairly large space. So art not only serves the function of giving aesthetic pleasure, but it enables people to say “meet you at the sculpture” or “meet you at the artwork”.</p> <p>The digital artwork feature that’s been installed in the interstitial corridor will be triggered by passengers as they either walk along the corridor or move along the moving walkways. And so they will feel a real sense of engagement with this artwork feature which will basically trigger on and off depending on how they move. So it’s a really interesting piece.</p> <p>There are many other significant works of art that have been installed in the terminal. One of them is by Michael Hayden, a pretty well-known artist who’s been responsible for some artworks in Chicago O’Hare among other things. It’s a significant glass sculpture that will basically catch the light and create spectral colors as you’re entering into the terminal.</p> <p>Another truly unique piece is being designed by Karim Rashid. It’s called <i>Kopperscape</i> and it consists of a series of molded forms around a performance stage. It’s located inside one of the departing areas, and passengers can either sit or recline on these molded shapes, and the central performance stage can accommodate about three performers for casual, informal performances that will take place during certain times of day. So in many ways it combines sculpture with seating with performance space and is as far as we know unique in any airport.</p> <p>There’s a mosaic artwork by Erin Pankratz-Smith entitled <i>Everything Flows Nothing Stands Still</i>, which has been inspired by an aerial view of the Edmonton and the river valley the flows through the center of Edmonton. It’s quite wonderfully done using mosaic, somewhere between literal and abstract and is a very engaging piece; passengers love to stand and take photographs of it and orient themselves relative to the city. A very interesting and unique piece that is absolutely appropriate for this terminal and for this region.</p>

Overview

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>The Edmonton Airport Authority took the opportunity of the significant growth that’s been happening in northern Alberta to expand the airport to meet the demand for the foreseeable future.</p> <p>Our history with this client goes back several years; in fact we were responsible for the most recent expansion of the terminal which was done approximately 15 years ago. And so we’ve had a long and very successful relationship with this client, and this project is the culmination of that relationship.</p> <p>Stantec provided full architectural and engineering services, so the full range of architectural, interior design, planning services, as well as structural, mechanical, electrical, and some specialty services such as acoustical engineering and lighting design.</p> <p>One of the key design features of this expansion project is because it’s a very lengthy expansion, and a very linear expansion, one of our concerns was that if we didn’t treat it properly, it might seem like an endless vista. If you look at the model, you can see at every gate we’ve basically broken the roof, and there’s that “ski slope” that basically engages the gate, and it’s very deliberate so as you’re walking down the concourse, you get the sense of the sloping roof every time there is a gate. And what this has done is twofold. On the one hand, it’s improved the whole intuitive sense of wayfinding in the terminal, and the other thing that it does is it helps to bring natural light right deep inside the terminal and create a much more pleasant indoor environment for passengers.</p> <p>I think the project has been a huge boost for our Edmonton team. It’s the largest project that they’ve had to work on, and it’s a project in their home city so obviously there’s a tremendous amount of civic pride that they’ve had in working on this project, which of course will be the project that everybody sees when they arrive at the airport or when they leave the airport. So I think from a point of view of building up the pride of our team, I trhink it’s been wonderful. It’s been an important project in terms of our airport resume because it is the most recent US customs and immigration facility and the most recent Canadian customs and immigration facility to have been built in Canada. So from all those points of view it’s an important project in both our portfolio, and an important project for the city and the region.</p>

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