November 19, 2015
Denver International Airport Opens New Gateway to Airport and City
Public plaza and Westin at DEN set new benchmark for what people expect to find at the airport
DENVER – Today, Denver International Airport (DEN) opens a Gensler-designed plaza, Westin hotel and conference center that together transform the airport into a one-of-a-kind travel destination.
This project is the realization of DEN’s original 1989 master plan, and it includes three key elements: an 82,000-square-foot, open-air plaza; a 433,000-square-foot Westin hotel and conference center with 519 guest rooms; and a public transit center that will connect commuter rail and busses to the airport, slated to begin rail service in April 2016. These three elements compose a single, integrated project that abuts DEN’s Jeppesen Terminal. Together, they create a new gateway between the airport and its city.
The Gensler-designed project is owned by Denver International Airport and was built by MHS, a tri-venture comprising contractors Mortenson Hunt and Saunders. The project is designed to achieve LEED® Gold certification from the USGBC.
“This project sets a new benchmark for world-class airports, and also for airport hotels,” says Gensler Co-CEO Andy Cohen, FAIA. “I think what guests will remember is what they can do here that they can’t do anywhere else. Being able to enjoy a meal outside on a plaza at the airport is wonderful. What makes it unforgettable is that you’re surrounded by great architecture and art as you watch planes taking off with Pike’s Peak in the background. That’s incredibly special, and something that you can only do here, at Denver International Airport.”
The Westin at DEN is a swooping form of steel and glass, offering guests spectacular views of the Rockies and a bird’s-eye view of the iconic tents of the Jeppesen Terminal. The hotel lobby has a dynamic, urban feel, with views extending through the train station and flanked by “Shadow Array,” a stunning art installation by native Colorado artist Patrick Marold. Hotel guests will have the unique opportunity of swimming in an 11th-floor pool with unforgettable, floor-to-ceiling views of Denver and the Rocky Mountains. From the privacy of their rooms, hotel guests will enjoy unique vantage points of the plaza, airport, city and mountains, all from within soundproofed rooms protected from airport noise.
“Denver International Airport strives to be America’s favorite connecting hub, where the Rocky Mountains meet the world,” said DEN CEO Kim Day. “With the opening of the new Westin hotel, open-air plaza and soon-to-open transit line, Denver’s airport transforms into its own destination, as well as a competitive state-of-the-art hub for tourism, conventions and travel.”
The open-air plaza forms the civic heart of the project – a venue for events that is equally accessible to air travelers and the Denver community. It was envisioned by Gensler as a public space that could host events such as 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, festivals and parties. The plaza is designed to draw people in by offering unexpected – and fun – things to do at the airport.
When complete in the spring of 2016, the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) A Line will zip passengers from DEN to Denver Union Station, the hub of Denver’s public transit system, in just 37 minutes. Trains will run every 15 minutes during peak times, offering people a speedy way to travel from airport to city, unimpeded by unpredictable traffic or weather.
Denver International Airport is the 17th-busiest airport in the world and the fifth-busiest airport in the United States. With more than 53 million passengers traveling through the airport each year, DEN is one of the busiest airline hubs in the world’s largest aviation market. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $26 billion for the region annually. For more information visit, check us out on YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.