Innovative South Terminal Design Recognized for Architectural Excellence

ORLANDO, FL. — Designs for Orlando International Airport’s future South Terminal Complex (STC) have captured the attention of some of the world’s foremost architectural visionaries. The innovative concepts from lead architect Curt Fentress were recently honored with a prestigious 2017 American Architecture Award. The renowned airport designer received the award during the AIA Conference on Architecture event held at the Orlando Museum of Art. 

Presented for the 23rd year by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, the awards acknowledge design excellence and the best and finest contributions to contemporary American architecture. 

The South Terminal was one of 79 projects recognized as the best new buildings designed and constructed by American architects in the U.S. and abroad and by international architects for buildings designed and built in the United States. Other award winners include the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Burj 2020 in Dubai and The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art. 

The selected projects have a positive psychological effect on the communities in which they serve. Fentress described his vision for the South Terminal as using large gestures to create an unforgettable arrival experience to an extraordinary destination. 

 “The future airport design for Orlando International Airport has to provide information, convenience, and efficiency to accommodate the demands of a broad profile of passengers,” Fentress said. “It has to also provide a “sense of place” reflected by its architecture and the character of Central Florida that highlights the next generation of The Orlando Experience®.” 

The building’s major elements are aligned as a campus connected by “The Boulevard,” which will lead passengers anywhere they need to go while being surrounded by gardens, fountains, art, a beautiful architectural skylight, interactive media features, and innovative retail and concessions. 

“The South Terminal concept will provide a unique travel experience for our customers,” said Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Executive Director. “By integrating elements of our natural surroundings with cutting-edge technology, the design places the traveler first and foremost.” 

Phase 1 of the STC includes a 2.7-million-square-foot world-class domestic and international terminal building comprised of a new airside terminal with 16 airline gates and a landside terminal. The Fentress design team also includes HNTB and Schenkel Shultz. The project is set for completion in 2020. 

Basic MCO information: With an overall total of nearly 42 million annual passengers, MCO is the second busiest airport in Florida and 13th busiest in the U.S. The airport is centrally located and is within a two hour drive of 60 percent of the state’s population. MCO has 18,000 employees and generates $31 billion in direct and indirect revenue for the regional economy. Orlando International Airport strives to value and delight its customers through an airport-wide focus and design concept known as The Orlando Experience®.