Concourse E Extension at PDX

Portland, Oregon, USA

This was the first major project at Portland International Airport (PDX) in nearly 20 years.

As part of the PDXNext program, the Port identified a need to re-balance the number of passengers using the north and south sides of PDX.  The result was the terminal rebalancing and extension of Concourse E, which included the addition of over 800 feet, seven gates, two ground-load gates, concessions, and other amenities as well as the creation of improved airline operational spaces.

Poised as an impactful gateway, the extension is designed to complement the materials and form of the existing airport campus. The cantilevered and folded roof form and extensive curtainwall glazing reflect the Port’s sloped and cantilevered headquarters building and ticket lobby entrance glazing, all while paying homage to Oregon’s canyons. This section of the building is evocative of flight during the day and unveils activity inside the concourse after dark.

Inside, the roof form is broken by clerestory windows that wash the space with northern light and 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.