Woods Bagot unveils timber expansion for Seattle airport

Plans for an expansion to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport built with local Douglas fir have been unveiled by Australian architect Woods Bagot.

The Adelaide-based firm has teamed up with Miller Hull Partnership to design the 13,500-sq-m extension of the airport’s concourse for the Port of Seattle.

The “C Concourse Expansion” will add four storeys to the concourse, giving travellers more places to shop and eat, an interfaith prayer and meditation room, a nursing suite, as well as lounge for Alaska Airlines and office space for airlines. 

According to Port of Seattle, the heart of the space will be the “Grand Stairs”, which the architect describes as “an iconic destination that invites travellers to linger with seating, airfield views, music and art”.

Woods Bagot said its design was inspired by the natural and urban environments found in America’s Pacific Northwest.

“The more active public spaces are designed to reflect the textures and activities of the famous markets in Seattle and the region,” it said. “A marketplace sits at the centre of the concourse with a bar and retail kiosks that frame an open seating area that is also defined by a busker stage for local musicians. This stage faces the Grand Stairs, which provides an activated connection to the restaurants at the mezzanine level.”

Matt Ducharme, Woods Bagot’s Principal, added that the use of Douglas fir allowed “sculptural geometries like curves and fractals”. 

The use of natural materials is complemented by a roof-based solar array that will supply some 15% of the extension’s power. There will also be electrochromic smart glazing to dynamically  control daylighting and solar gain, as well as energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

The expansion is expected to begin construction in mid-2023 and will be completed in 2027. Its budget has been set at $340m, with a $500m cap.

The general contractor and construction manager for the project is Turner Construction, and the client is being advised by consulting engineers Jacobs and Seattle-based Parametrix.

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