Now Boarding:
A New Skylife

That “travel” derives from ancient words for torment and agony will surprise no one who’s worked in or journeyed through an airport since 2001. Passengers and the people who serve them improvise heroically to modern travel’s multiple challenges. But in “Fog City,” the skies are clearing.

Renowned the world over for incubating hi-tech innovation, San Francisco’s latest aviation advance represents the future of flying and a rediscovery of bygone sensibilities. True to the city’s character, the newly renovated San Francisco International Airport Terminal 2 (SFO T2) showcases sustainable design, but it also revives a classic concern for the passenger experience and romance of air travel. It is an airport built for people and planet without compromising on style or functionality.

Elevating the Travel Experience

Designed to reflect the Bay Area’s culture and aesthetic, the newly renovated SFO T2 accommodates 14 gates serving Virgin America and American Airlines. The terminal elevates the passenger experience of flying through design strategies that reduce traveler stress, highlight the airport’s art installations and promote progressive sustainability measures.

With an emphasis on service, hospitality and comfort, SFO T2 features a post-security Recompose area, a meeters-and-greeters lounge, hotel-inspired seating and locally sourced, organic dining options. The first LEED® Gold-certified terminal in the United States, T2 supports SFO’s goals of zero waste, sustainable education and reduced carbon footprint.

De-Stressing Travel in a Pat-Down World

Setting the tone for T2, the groundbreaking Recompose area is distinguished by copious natural light and gracious seating. Here, passengers benefit from a purposeful place to regroup, collect belongings and check their flight status before continuing on to the retail concourse and departures lounge.

Because the Bay Area’s cuisine enjoys international acclaim, the region’s food culture is celebrated throughout the terminal. Inspired by San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building, T2’s retail concourse offers a distinctive selection of locally sourced, wholesome foods, including restaurants from celebrity chefs Cat Cora and Tyler Florence. See the SFO T2 Interactive Map.

Commitment to Sustainability

Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, T2 is the nation's first LEED® Gold terminal. The $383 million, 640,000-square-foot facility houses features that should enlighten as they inspire sustainable living.  

SFO T2’s design will yield energy savings — 15 percent above California’s stringent building code requirements — that amount to a $170,000 reduction in annual facility costs. Beyond operating efficiently, T2 engages community involvement in its design and programming. The sustainable agenda includes progressive composting and recycling, complete with signage that explains and promotes the program's benefits to airport employees and passengers.

Art + Design

SFO is the first U.S. airport accredited as a museum; and T2’s design highlights unique work by world-renowned artists, each complementing Gensler’s design themes of clouds and flight. Norie Sato’s “Air Over Under” adorns the exterior façade, as Kendall Buster’s “Topograph” welcomes passengers into the main ticketing hall.

In the Recompose area that follows from the security lanes, a dramatic ceiling sculpture by internationally acclaimed Janet Echelman creates a sense of dynamism and delight. Two children’s play areas in the departures lounge showcase installations by San Francisco artists Walter Kitundu and Charles Sowers. Their interactive artworks provide travelers of all ages a playful oasis, highlighting local wildlife and nature.

Leah Ray — Gensler Firmwide Media Relations

Bruce Damonte: pages 1-5a
Nic Lehoux: page 5b

Additional Information
SFO T2 Website
GenslerOn SFO T2 Blog Posts
How SFO’s T2 Revolutionized Air Travel” from Gensler’s latest issue of Dialogue

Related content requires a more recent version of the Flash player than you currently have installed, and JavaScript turned on to view this content.

Please download the most recent Flash player.


About Us
As architects, designers, planners and consultants, we partner with our clients on some 3,000 projects every year. These projects can be as small as a wine label or as large as a new urban district. With 2,000+ professionals networked across more than 30 locations, we serve our clients as trusted advisors, combining localized expertise with global perspective wherever new opportunities arise. Our work reflects an enduring commitment to sustainability and the belief that design is one of the most powerful strategic tools for securing lasting competitive advantage.


Download Gensler's Fact Sheet (pdf) for more information regarding the the services we provide, markets we support, our locations and our leadership.


Download "Design Update: The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE" (pdf) to learn how L.A.'s sports-entertainment district gets its landmark.