Airports Today

With the first two terminals fully designed and constructed since 9/11, Gensler can point to two distinct projects tailored to the way people fly today.

Opening within weeks of one another, JetBlue Airways' Terminal 5 at JFK and Detroit Metro’s new North Terminal represent shining examples of facilities designed to address contemporary travel needs from functional, financial and experiential perspective.

Image: Detroit Metropolitan Airport's North Terminal Redevelopment (NTR)

Restoring Optimism to the Passenger Experience

The defining element of JetBlue’s Terminal 5 (T5) design is its historic context. The airport literally wraps itself around a jet-age icon: Saarinen’s TWA terminal.

Rather than compete with Saarinen’s masterpiece, Gensler’s design complements it. But like the TWA structure, T5 is a terminal for its times: glamour is replaced by efficiency, yet optimism and exuberance, hallmarks of JetBlue’s brand, figure prominently in the T5 flying experience.

Efficiency is King

Expected to be JFK's busiest terminal with more than 30 percent of the airport's traffic, T5 is designed to accommodate a staggering 20 million passengers annually and as many as 10 flights per gate each day.

Carefully orchestrated planning ensures that airplanes, passengers and their luggage move in and out of the 26-gate, 635,000-square-foot T5 with ease. No detail was overlooked in assuring an industry-leading, 30-minute plane turnaround time — that's 40 percent faster than the average.

The Well-Orchestrated Passenger Experience

The terminal’s interior gives thoughtful consideration to the passenger's perspective, anticipating travelers' preference for an uncomplicated travel experience. Circulation paths usher passengers to their gates in the most efficient way possible. At every juncture, the terminal guides passengers in an intuitive way, reducing dependence on signage and other visual clutter.

Gradually sloped floors funnel passengers from security into the central Marketplace; and the use of JetBlue’s signature corporate color, vibrant blue, signals key transitions throughout the terminal.

Gateway to Metro Detroit

The 12th-busiest airport in the United States, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) serves as a global gateway to Metro Detroit. The new North Terminal will enhance DTW’s status as one of the most modern and efficient airports in the world.

The highlight of the terminal’s design is a 660-foot-long glass box that forms a gateway foyer. Set over the curb, this glass box is the one space through which every passenger passes, and it streams natural light into the check-in, baggage claim and security screening areas.

Design for Today and Tomorrow

Gensler designed the terminal to meet the dynamic needs of today’s travelers and the airport’s stringent budget requirements. The 26-gate, 850,000-square-foot terminal establishes new benchmarks for value-conscious airport facilities. A tremendous time saver for travelers, the terminal’s linear design will also create a faster, more efficient path for taxiing aircraft that, in turn, saves fuel and reduces environmental emissions.

Sustainable Features

The terminal’s linear design enables aircraft to land via taxiway and pull directly into their respective gates. This efficient motion offers airline operators energy benefits and time savings.

In keeping with the project’s overall sustainable approach, waste from the demolished Davey terminal and adjacent hotel was recycled for use in the new terminal. Concrete, which made up the bulk of the old buildings, was crushed into gravel and used for roads and ramps. Reusable iron and steel was extracted from various parts of the old structures and recycled.

Lisa Beazley—Gensler Firmwide Media Relations
Leah Ray—Gensler Firmwide Communications

Prakash Patel: pages 1
Nic Lehoux: pages 3—4
Vito Palmisano: pages 5—6a, 7
Christopher Beck (GenslerDetroit): page 6b

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