Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal

  • Wilson Rayfield

    Wilson Rayfield AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

    Executive Vice President Contact
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world, and with ever-increasing passenger numbers, a new modern international terminal and garage were needed to facilitate movement of travelers. With the aim to create a timeless gateway to their world-class city, the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation asked Atlanta Gateway Designers (AGD – a GS&P-led  joint-venture) to design the new 1.2 million-square-foot Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal.

Our team envisioned a fluid design, focusing on creating a space that was open, functional, efficient and environmentally conscious while adhering to a tight budget and schedule. The LEED Gold certified, fast-track, multi-package project involved the new international gateway and concourse; a highly complex connector constructed more than 40 feet underneath the existing Concourse E; and a 1,300-space parking garage.

Providing full service for the project, some of AGD’s specific responsibilities included:

• Architectural and interior design of the entire project, including the exterior and interior image
• Project management, including project controls and oversight of 35 subconsultants
• Comprehensive planning involving site selection and the addition of several value-added components
• Structural design for the entire terminal and the majority of the connector tunnel
• Civil engineering
• Landscape architecture
• Signage and wayfinding for the entire project
• Sustainable consulting and design with LEED Gold certification
• Support for the development of a BIM model with the Construction Manager-at-Risk
• Integration of three design-build contracts occurring concurrently with overall design efforts
• Implementation of a coordination and quality management plan that proved highly effective, as demonstrated by the speed and ease of construction on the project.

GS&P’s Environmental Graphic Design Group was responsible for designing a comprehensive signage and wayfinding program that touches every aspect of the customer experience from gateway to gate. The scope of work included roadway signage, entry pylons, parking garages, curbside, terminal wayfinding, gates, code-compliant ADA signage, baggage information systems, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection areas. The environmental graphic design team worked with the project architects and a large group of stakeholders to ensure that all signage and wayfinding was intuitive and cohesive with design elements throughout the existing airport structure. Interior wayfinding focused on addressing complex issues of passenger circulation and connectivity in one of the busiest airports in the world. The goal was to make the design as clean and minimal as possible.

When more than 80% of the design was completed, the overall project budget was reduced by $400 million due to changing economic conditions. AGD worked tirelessly to complete more than 170 changes to the design. Even with these drastic cuts, the project was kept under budget.

Although there was a strong focus on cost control, the team did not allow the design to suffer. Our designers found new and innovative solutions, even finding ways to incorporate design elements that were at first considered too costly. The terminal ceiling, for example, was planned to be flat due to pricing issues, but GS&P designed in such a way that it could be curved at the same cost. Sustainable, cost-saving elements were also included without impact to the overall budget. These efforts resulted in a cutting-edge, world-class design that Atlanta can be proud of for years to come.
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