New Asheville Airport Parking Garage Enhances Sense of Place and Passenger Experience

March 15, 2018

Gresham, Smith and Partners announces the completion of a new 5-story parking garage at Asheville Regional Airport (AVL). The new structure, designed by the firm, supports the significant growth of the airport with the addition of more than 1,300 parking spaces, and provides dedicated space to relocate rental cars within the parking structure. 

The new structure prioritizes ease-of-use for passengers. The parking structure connects to the terminal through a steel-framed canopy, providing users with covered access to the centrally-located ticketing lobby and baggage claim. It also improves the rental car experience, supplying centralized and covered rental car pick-up and drop-off. An external speed ramp offers controlled access for rental car ready/return vehicles. Previously rental cars were located in a surface parking lot adjacent to the terminal.

“Prior to the completion of this garage, our surface parking lot in front of the terminal was often full. We viewed this as an opportunity to improve the level of service for our passengers and rental car customers,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., executive director, Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority. “We are proud that we created a structure that is functional, and also incorporates an artistic façade that reflects the Asheville region and which has been enthusiastically received by the community.”

The garage features a custom-perforated metal screen wall to form a nearly 516-foot long supergraphic image of the surrounding region. Situated in front of the airport terminal, the garage serves as a new landmark, creating additional visual interest at the airport entrance and provides an improved connection to the region it serves.

“Not only does this garage enhance the passenger experience through covered parking, it was an ideal backdrop for an expressive, signature element for the airport,” commented David L. King, AIA, NCARB, division vice president, Gresham Smith. “It now serves as the first impression for the airport and we wanted to ensure that our design celebrates and reflects the heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the local landscape.”

Creating the supergraphic with a perforated metal screen allows fresh air into the deck while providing shade to reduce heat gain at its perimeter. The garage also features intelligent LED lighting. In addition to the garage, two new charging stations for electric vehicles were added to the adjacent short-term parking lot, the rental car parking lot was repurposed for ground transportation services, and the roadway signage was improved.