As one of the fastest-growing "big cities” in America, Austin’s growing pains included an international airport terminal (ABIA) that was quickly reaching passenger capacity. The design-build team’s response to calls for expansion elicited a light-filled, architecturally-intriguing space shoehorned into a site framed by the existing terminal. The new oval building, identified as the Terminal East Infill, seamlessly links with the existing one and provides increased capacity for passenger processing.
The existing terminal at ABIA is a celebration of structure in support of architecture, with exposed steel pipe trusses that carry a high airside concourse roof to tall glass curtain walls. The design-build team decided to expand upon the exposed steel motif and extend it to the new Terminal East Infill, employing a variety of custom built-up steel sections that both complement the existing facility and furnish the new space with an exciting and modern expression. The soaring roof in the main hall of the new space features a complex yet elegant exposed two-way roof structure that draws the outbound passenger's eye upward and outward to destinations beyond.
Bold and complex, yet efficient and honest, the new building is a testament to the successful union of structure and architecture. With its celebration of unique steel shapes and an ample display of the works of local artists, ABIA’s Terminal East Infill seems the perfect fit for the one-of-a-kind city it serves.