The “Blue Box” will be replaced by a modern, sophisticated facility.
July 25, 2012 (Raleigh, NC) -- The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority held a ceremonial groundbreaking recently to mark the beginning of construction on the new 165,000-square-foot, $68 million Terminal 1, designed by Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee (PBC+L) of Raleigh and Asheville, NC.
When construction is completed in early 2014, RDU visitors will encounter many changes between the old, blue-paneled building, completed in 1991, and the new, modern facility.
According to the architects, the new Terminal 1 arrival sequence will begin at curbside with a canopy system that will provide both shelter and a fresh architectural image for the building. The canopy will extend along the length of the building.
For the front elevation, the existing metal panels and curtain wall construction will be replaced with an ordered composition of metal panels, translucent fiberglass panels, and glass curtain wall. The architects are specifying transparent and translucent materials to create an open, light-filled interior.
The new terminal has been designed as a single, large volume from one end to the other, with a security mezzanine inserted into this volume. The arrival side of the terminal, which houses ticketing, security, and baggage claim, will feature all new finishes, lighting, furnishings, and signage.
The tarmac-facing, or airside, façade also will be completely re-built with a combination of metal panels and curtain wall to provide open views and daylight for the interior. Large windows at the concourse will provide a panoramic view of the airfield. A combination of sunscreens and roller shades will control sunlight levels. The airside spaces, including toilets, concession spaces, the nine-gate concourse, and hold rooms, will receive all new finishes, lighting, furnishings, and signage.
The new terminal, which will house Southwest and AirTran gates, also will receive new stairs, escalators, four new passenger elevators, and original works of art.
“Buildings that receive high use over an extended period of time inevitably reach a point when re-branding needs to be considered,” said Clymer Cease, AIA, PBC+L’s principal in charge of this project. “Such was the case with Terminal 1. The building has served as an airport terminal since 1981. The last upgrade to the facility was in 1991."
“Chief among the challenges for the new Terminal 1 was the transformation of the existing building in support of the passenger travel experience,” said Jeffrey Lee, FAIA, design principal. “Both arrival and departure sequences have been carefully considered and addressed in the design solution.”
Originally known as Terminal A, the “blue box,” as it came to be called, was renamed Terminal 1 when US Air and Continental airlines moved to Terminal 2.
“Terminal 1 has served RDU well for more than 30 years,” said RDU Airport Director Michael Landguth. “With this renovation, it will serve RDU and our passengers for many more years.”
Construction manager for Terminal 1 is D.H. Griffin-Balfour Beatty, A Joint Venture.
For more information on Terminal 1’s progress, go to www.rdu.com and click on “Airport Development.”
For more information on Pearce, Brinkley, Cease + Lee, visit www.pbclarchitecture.com.
About Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee:
Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee (PBC+) is an award-winning, full-service architectural firm specializing in academic and cultural arts projects. PBC+L has offices in Raleigh and Asheville, North Carolina. The firm’s work has been published in numerous professional journals and was ranked 23rd in Architecture magazine’s Top 50 Firms in the nation. For more information, visit www.pbclarchitecture.com or find the firm on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.