AIA Colorado awarded the Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation Award of Merit

AIA Colorado has selected Fentress Architects’ Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation for an Award of Merit. This award recognizes exemplary projects that reinforce the value of outstanding architecture and its positive contributions to the community. The Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation includes a new at-grade main entrance, a comprehensive interior remodel, exterior enhancements to maximize natural daylight, and the addition of the Atlantic Ocean Hall, a versatile indoor-outdoor ceremonial space. The renovation’s primary goals were to provide a sustainable, functional, and contemporary office environment for foreign diplomats and staff while preserving the embassy’s historic character. Upgrades such as an improved thermal envelope, energy-efficient windows, and sustainable landscaping align with the project’s environmental objectives, ensuring it maintains a dignified yet distinctive presence on Washington D.C.’s Embassy Row.

Denver Art Museum Martin Building Renovation Museum Wins Architizer A+ Awards Popular Choice Winner

The Denver Art Museum Martin Building Renovation has achieved yet another remarkable milestone by winning the Architizer A+ Awards Popular Choice Winner accolade. This recognition highlights the project’s profound impact on the world of architecture and art. Through an unique blend of visionary design and meticulous execution, the renovation breathes new life into the museum. The Popular Choice Winner title reflects the overwhelming support and admiration from the public and the design community alike. This accomplishment further solidifies the Martin Building Renovation’s status as a transformative work of architecture.

Orlando International Airport South Terminal Complex Wins A+ Awards Special Recognition Architizer

The Orlando International Airport South Terminal Complex’s exceptional achievement has been acknowledged with a Special Recognition Architizer A+ Award. This accolade celebrates the terminal complex as a innovative architectural project that redefines air travel experiences. The project’s state-of-the-art design to create a seamless blend of functionality and aesthetics, setting new standards in airport architecture. The Architizer A+ Special Recognition Award highlights the complex’s role in shaping the future of travel infrastructure, and its recognition showcases the collaborative efforts of architects, engineers, and designers who have brought this visionary design to life.

Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation Wins AIA Award in Architecture

The Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation stands as a extraordinary achievement, recently honored with the prestigious AIA Award in Architecture. This project effortlessly blends historical significance with contemporary design, showcasing a harmonious marriage of past and present. The award underscores the meticulous restoration and state-of-the-art architectural solutions that have breathed new life into the embassy. The renovation not only preserves the embassy’s cultural legacy but also transforms it into a symbol of modern sophistication and functionality.

Fred D. Thompson U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building wins Excellence in Construction Award in the category of “Mega Projects over $100 million”

The Fred D. Thompson U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building stands as a beacon of architectural excellence, recently honored with the prestigious Excellence in Construction Award. Recognized in the esteemed category of “Mega Projects over $100 million,”. Named after the distinguished statesman Fred D. Thompson, the courthouse and federal building seamlessly marries form and function, embodying the principles of justice and transparency.

A World-Class Design for Orlando International Airport’s New Terminal C

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the gateway to Central Florida’s thriving business community, theme parks including the Walt Disney World Resort, miles of spectacular beaches and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. 

“This summer MCO will debut the new Terminal C, which is designed to support growing passenger volume and reinforce the airport’s reputation for excellence in traveller satisfaction,” said Curtis Fentress, FAIA Principal in Charge of Design with design architect Fentress Architects.

Terminal C will introduce the next generation of “The Orlando Experience®”.  Terminal C builds upon the established MCO aesthetic of air, water and sky. It includes a seamless, low-touch environment that offers an exciting combination of concessions, interactive media displays and iconic architecture. Upon opening, Terminal C will serve up to 12 million passengers annually. It will also feature a new Federal Inspection Service (FIS) facility as well as 15 new gates (accommodating up to 20 aircraft). Amenities will include a nursing station and pet relief areas.  At full build out, Terminal C can increase capacity at MCO up to 60 million passengers annually.   

Orlando International Airport’s New Terminal C Gate Seating and Informational Bulletin
Construction 2022 – Arriving international passengers will be directed to a skybridge on the upper level of the concourse, which will take them to a new Federal Inspection Service facility. Photo © Matthew Good

Elevating The Orlando Experience® with Iconic Architecture

Design architect Fentress Architects, together with HNTB as architect of record, designed Terminal C to be an iconic gateway to the entire region. 

“An airport should be reflective of the environment and region it serves as well as meet the needs of its passengers.  For Orlando, that means architecturally identifying with subtropical vegetation and wildlife as well as numerous world-classattractions. It also means understanding a very diverse passenger profile; each with their own unique expectations of the Orlando Experience.  Terminal C will offer passengers the best in technology and operations, and also a very friendly, hospitable environment,” said Fentress.

Among the terminal’s signature architectural elements is The Prow. It sets an uplifting tone at curbside, especially when seen against a dramatic Florida sky.  Ambient natural light will flow in from this curbside curtainwall, as well as from the Terminal’s skylit spine. This will help bring the outdoors in and guides passengers to world-class amenities and onto their gate.    

“Innovation and sophisticated design that reflects elements of the Central Florida community combine to deliver a world-class travel experience,” says Kevin Thibault, CEO, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “Terminal C will be so much more than a transfer point from one place to another. It will serve as a multimodal memorable entryway for passengers visiting, living and working in the region.”

All major building elements—ticketing, security, concessions, gates and baggage claim—will be aligned along a Boulevard. This will lead passengers on a linear journey. A Grand Skylight that introduces dappled daylight and supports lush foliage will adorn this Boulevard.

“The tinted glass panels of the Grand Skylight dapple and diffuse sunlight, which creates an effect reminiscent of light coming through Orlando’s historic orange groves,” said Fentress.

The Boulevard will also connect Terminal C’s two signature civic spaces—Palm Court and Town Square—with the MCO’s Intermodal Terminal Facility. The Facility supports up to four rail systems, including Brightline’s inter-city service.  Palm Court is located airside, at the terminus of the Boulevard skylight.  It is the grandest of Terminal C’s civic spaces. As such, this vibrant location will feature shopping, experiential media, dining, socializing and relaxation lounges in a daylit, garden-like atmosphere. The design of second-story retail and lofted airline clubs means they will overlook Palm Court and its experiential media element, which will feature an interactive exploration of Orlando’s various destinations.

Meanwhile, Town Square is located landside, at the terminus of an elevated international arrivals corridor.  This light-filled, spacious arrivals hall on the terminal’s upper-most level will provide a stark contrast to the buried baggage claims found in so many other airports.  It is imbued with a sense of welcoming and openness to enhance the international and domestic passenger experience.Diagram

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© Fentress Architects 

Uplifting Experiences: Arrival & Departure

With the help of recently developed baggage conveyance technology, Terminal C will reverse the traditional paradigm of arrivals on the lower level and departures on the upper level.  Passengers arriving—often from long flights—will be directed to a unique and uplifting experience: the upper-most level of the terminal.  Awash in filtered Central Florida sunlight with majestic views of the local natural environment, this immediate and immersive experience will at once orient travelers to both Orlando and the United States. Easy access to restrooms and concessions, in a pleasant environment, will further cater to travelers innate needs. 

Departing travelers will have a similarly pleasant experience. Flexibility is the intention for everything from intuitive parking and drop-off areas to a new ticketing hall. Additionally, they are outfitted with kiosks and outstanding customer service representatives.  Security will be similarly intuitive, orderly and responsive. 

Orlando International Airport’s New Terminal C Main Walkway Ceiling and Floor Design
Construction 2022 – The Boulevard, capped by a Grand Skylight, will connect ticketing, security, concessions, gates and baggage claim. Photo © Matthew Good

Interactive Media

An Experiential Media Environment (EME) has been seamlessly integrated into the terminal’s architecture.  All three EME elements specifically serve to celebrate the region’s dynamic identity. They also highlight for visitors the robust offerings of Central Florida’s natual and developed attractions. 

  • Moment Vault, located in Palm Court, offers departing passengers a 360-degree immersive experience. The Vault combines silhouettes gathered from strategically placed cameras located throughout the space with striking video footage from local points of interest. Highlights in the 23 capsules that run 109 minutes include underwater play in deep blue springs with a school of bioluminescent fish and an excursion to the surface of Mars where red rocks have a life of their own.
  • The Portal, located in Town Square (also known as the arrivals hall), rises three-stories high. 32 custom curved screens suspended in a helical frame comprise the feature. Synchronized content plays on both interior and exterior screens, offering 26 capsules that run 125 minutes and tell a visual story of the transformation of Central Florida from natural springs and ranchlands to the dawn of Disney, the launch into space exploration and a bounty of entertainment opportunities.
  • Windows on Orlando, located along the airside concourse, is a 100-foot-long, 32-foot-tall display comprised of three adjacent, panoramic screens. Select Central Florida locations were captured in 20 capsules that run 79 minutes. Highlights include a rocket launch sequence filmed from the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center and an afternoon ride under open skies to round up cattle with cowhands at the Deseret Ranch in St. Cloud. 

Hi-Tech, Low Touch 

An increasingly touchless experience will bolster international and domestic passenger growth at MCO.  Touchpoints, also known as points of contact or interaction, occur at check-in, security, concessions, boarding, customs and more.  These have long been hallmarks of the passenger experience.  That said, over the past few decades, airport planners and designers have helped lessen the time spent at touchpoints. In doing so, they have made the airport experience both more efficient and pleasant.  

Terminal C has the design of a linear/pier configuration. This minimizes transit times for departing passengers to an average of eleven minutes.  Additionally, Terminal C will engage a variety of biometric devices including: 

  • 100-percent automated screening lanes in TSA checkpoint.
  • 100-percent facial recognition at all 15 gates for international arrival and departures.
Orlando International Airport’s New Terminal C Walkway and Gate Seating Areas
Construction 2022 –  Windows on Orlando (an experiential media environment) will adorn the airside concourse, which will serve 15 gates outfitted with facial recognition. Photo © Matthew Good

Sustainable Design

Terminal C will be as sustainable as possible thanks to a long list of design strategies.  Strategies include the deployment of reduced water-consumption and irrigation systems, responsive lighting and temperature control systems. Also involved are solar panels, non-toxic adhesives and non-painted natural materials.  Together, these and other strategies are likely to support an award of Silver or Gold LEED Certification by the US Green Building Council.  If awarded, Terminal C will be t­he first LEED®v4 airport campus of any level in the world.

Denver Art Museum Martin Building Renovation Wins Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award

Denver Art Museum Expansion and Renovation
Denver Art Museum Expansion and Renovation

The Denver Art Museum Martin Building Renovation has been honored with the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award, a testament to its visionary renovation. This project breathes new life into a cultural landmark.

Fentress Global Challenge

Winners Announced in 2021: Airport of the Future, Student Design Competition

Fentress Architects is excited to announce the winners of Fentress Global Challenge (FGC) 2021: Airport of the Future, which garnered over 80 entries from students around the globe. This year’s competition challenged students to envision airport mobility in the year 2100.  The winning entries reflect the radical innovation, quality and curiosity required to advance airport terminal design.

Fentress Global Challenge 1st Place Design

Carmina Ferreras and Oluwarotimi Osiberu

1ST PLACE with a US$15,000 cash prize & PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD 1 with a US$1,000 cash prize

Ferreras and Osiberu are third-year Master of Architecture students at North Carolina State University.  Ferreras is a former high school math teather interested in connecting communities through advancements in technology and sustainability.  Oluwarotimi came to United States in 2009 from Nigeria, Africa and is interested in spaces that foster healthy communities. Their entry imagines a new airport in Yokohama, Japan to help alleviate congestion at Tokyo International Airport.  The new hub is designed to serve hypersonic, subsonic, and VTOL flights that will access the furthest corners of the earth.  As a multimodal modal facility, it also incorporates rail systems and boats to fully link land, sea, and air.  Concourses feature vast, traditional gardens and views to marine wildlife.  Walkthough security and facial recognition scan passengers to create a seamless airport experience.  An internal tram system helps move passengers and also offers views of gardens and nearby Mt. Fuji. 

Fentress Global Challenge 2nd Place

Liyang Wang 

2ND PLACE with a US$3,000 cash prize

Wang, a student at the Yale School of Architecture, imagined an airport located on the northern corner of Atafu, Tokelau.  It utilizes a series of sun powered runways that move to accommodate airplane operations.  The airport also helps grow and then transplant coral from a nursery to reefs below.  Travelers can take part in observing the process, which will subsequently help cultivate climate awareness. 

Fentress Global Challenge 3rd Place Design

Tan Gee Yang

3RD PLACE with a US$2,000 cash prize

Yang, a student at Singapore University of Technology and Design, chose Singapore Changi Airport as the site. This entry envisions a reconfigureable and dynamic airport that uses data and machine learning to reconfigure itself in response to demand. Passengers, such as business travelers or vacationing families, would have routes in unique directions to fit their specific needs.  Reconfigurable pods would accommodate new retail experiences, attractions, and rest areas.

Assem Attia

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD 2 with a US$1,000 cash prize

Assem, a student at University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia, Bulgaria garnered the most votes on Facebook with an entry that is shaped as Voronoi cells using parametric design.  Buildings have trees integrated and planes land and take off vertically from a platform.

At a time when infrastructure is of utmost importantance to so many communities, FGC affirms that the next generation of designers are capable of envisioning both sustainable and user-friendly solutions.  Entrants needed to improve upon at least one primary factor influencing airport terminal building design in 2100 such as mobility, urbanization, globalization, technology, flexibility, security, project feasibility, and passenger experience.  As for location, entrants were able to choose between siting the new terminal at an existing airfield—such as at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) or Beijing Capital International (PEK)—or on a yet undeveloped site—such as in Atafu, Tokelau or Canillo, Andorra. 

“Passion for design and a creative mindset are the cornerstone of any successful design competition” said Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA, Principal in Charge of Design at Fentress Architects. “Each year, the submissions we receive are more innovative, sustainable, and dynamic than the prior year, which reveals an exciting outlook for the future of terminal design.”

The entries were evaluated on five criteria—creative approach and presentation; response to site; sustainability and resiliency; functionality; and innovation and technology—by a a jury of renowned professionals in the field of aviation, which included:

  • Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic
  • Dan Bartholomew, Airport Director at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport
  • Dan Symonds, Editor of Passenger Terminal World 
  • David Laielli, Senior Technical Architect for Airport Terminal Buildings at AECOM
  • Melvin Price, Associate Principal with Jacobs