Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport

Architype presentsNorman Mineta San Jose International Airport
Architype Dialogue presents Curt Fentress What was the most difficult issue about working within this building type or the most unexpected challenge that may have influenced new thought in......
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The Nation’s “Most Airport”

Located near downtown, the airport is crucial to the city’s image and local economy. The airport’s dramatic transformation into a world-class gateway for Silicon Valley better represents the region’s high-tech reputation while optimally serving its community and innovative, global industries. A fusion of cutting-edge design and technology, the airport has been called the nation;s “most technologically advances airport” (source: Airport Improvement). It’s fully equipped with the latest in common-use and self-service technology.

Echoing local values of reinvention, creativity and spirit, the design generates pride for community members while stimulating excitement for flight. The terminal’s futuristic, curvilinear façade evoked a data cable, the foundational technology of the region. The façade’s metamorphous between day and night achieves a dynamic harmony: filtered light gives a transparent appearance from within, while reflected sunlight portrays a solid exterior. The reverse effect occurs after dark; as though recharged by the sun, the building radiates light into the night sky.

Cutting-Edge Structural Design

The new terminal features a state-of-the-art structural system forward-looking earthquake protection. The curved metal façade touches down at three ground connections, designed to slide up to 24 inches during seismic activity. designed an innovative roof that can slide inches either direction to withstand seismic activity, at the same time creating a sleek, artistic profile,” says Curtis Fentress, Principal-in- Charge Design.

Urban Context

A landmark near downtown, the airport occupies a constricted site between an active airfield and a highway. The architect leveraged the elongated site to minimize distances from curbside to airside, creating an ultra-modern “Kiss and airport.
the Bay area’s only airport a rental car adjacent to terminals.

First New LEED Silver Terminal in Western United States

This building is the first entirely new passenger terminal in the Western United States to become LEED silver certified. A reflective white roof and high-tech curtain wall system with energy-efficient glazing contribute to a high performing envelope for the terminal. Water efficiency 30% better than code, 90% construction waste recycling, and recycled and low VOC materials contribute to a very sustainable building. The airport’s Central Plant was upgraded to meet new capacity requirements, increased efficiency and meet LEED standards. A roof-mounted 34-acre, .1-megawatt solar array on the airport’s new rental car garage one the nation’s largest airport solar electric installations (source: ENR).

Nation’s First Individual Air-Conditioned Seating

The terminal debuted the nation’s first “Air Chairs,” which replaced obstructive, unappealing floor diffusers an innovative fusion personal charging stations and displacement ventilation air diffusers located the seats’ bases. This solution improves passenger movement and adds visual appeal. Diffusers built into the bases of the chairs transport conditioned air thought the concourse, saving energy and ensuring comfort for travelers.

Nation’s Largest Design-Build Airport Project

After downsizing a $4.5 improvement project to $1.3 the airport hired a new contractor-architect team. The design-build team discovered ingenious solutions and innovations to save $69 construction cost, money used to expand the scope and install higher quality finishes. As the nation’s largest design-build airport project, the 2.6 million square-foot modernization was completed one year earlier than is procured as design-bid-building.

Creating a Memorable “Curbside to Airside” Experience

Reflecting Silicon Valley’s historical roots and high-tech reputation, an earth-toned palette and row landscaping inspired agriculture and apple orchards blend with the terminal’s unraveling cable form and circuitry-patterned terrazzo floors. A dramatic 55-foot-long glass curtain-wall. Certified wood accents imbue the space with warmth. Clean lines create a sleek aesthetic, while dramatic vistas fuel travelers’ excitement for flight.

Common Use

The airport was designed to operate on a fully integrated and flexible system that can accommodate the latest in self-service trends and changes by carriers, flights and services. Terminals A and B use common-use systems for check-in kiosks, ticket counters and gates. This system offers a high degree of efficiency and flexibility to airports, airlines and passengers while providing better control airport operations. By optimizing use of its existing infrastructure, the airport reduces its need for additional ages to maintain capacity.

Public Art and Architecture

A $6 million public art program showcases the talents of local artists with more than a dozen high-tech art displays tat explore new technologies. 26-foot-tall, three-legged, kinetic sculpture named Space Observer is equipped with cameras and follows the movement of passengers through the arrivals hall. The eCLOUD is a dynamic sculpture inspired by the volume and behavior of an idealized cloud. Tiles fade between transparent and opaque states, the patterns are transformed periodically by real time weather from around the world.

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