Concourse E Extension at PDX

Portland, Oregon, USA

Concourse E Extension is the first major project at Portland International Airport (PDX) in nearly 20 years.

The Port identified a need to rebalance the number of passengers using the north and south sides of PDX.  This resulted in a terminal rebalancing and concourse extension program.  Concourse E extension includes the addition of seven gates, two ground-load gates, concessions, and other amenities.  It also improves airline operational spaces.

The extension complements the materials and forms of the existing airport campus. For example, the cantilevered and folded roof form reflects the Port’s sloped and cantilevered headquarters building.  Likewise, extensive curtainwall glazing mimics the existing ticket lobby entrance glazing.  Meanwhile, all of these details also paying homage to Oregon’s canyons.

Inside, the roof form is broken by clerestory windows that wash the space with northern light.  They also frame preflight views to the sky. The sweeping sloped south curtainwall floods the interior with natural light tempered by a pattern of varying intensities of frit and tinted glazing that reflects the rhythm of light captured through the tree-lined screen of Portland’s forest edge. Extensive window walls provide views north to the airfield and landscape beyond, giving a sense of place and connection.

The celebrated grid of downtown Portland formed by 200-foot city blocks is invoked through the 200-foot spacing of concessions “nodes” that interrupt the 830-foot circulation path, just as cross streets do when walking downtown. The nodes offer dramatic full-height glazing to the north and feature aerial art installations, giving respite when walking the length of the concourse.

USGBC LEED Gold-Certified

Sustainable design strategies include:

  • South facing, solar-reflective roof (that is PV-ready) and paving help mitigate heat island effect.
  • Exterior and interior materials selected for durability, sustainability, longevity comfort, and locality, including Taktl, a Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) panel, used as a finish along circulation walls with a color and texture inspired by the region’s natural landscape. As a natural material, it shows a natural variability of color; it is durable and resistant to impact.  Also, a wood screen filters southern light throughout the concourse and is a continuous design element that reflects the warmth of architecture found in the Pacific North West.
  • Optimizing daylighting opportunities, coupled with the use of LED lights, reduced energy usage by 70 percent.
  • Daylight sensors dim the artificial lighting and switch them off during brightly lit times of the day, taking advantage of the available sunlight.
  • Fritted glass with low-emissivity coating reduces heat gain.
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce water usage by 33-percent.