Can Architecture Calm the Turbulence of Air Travel?

The designer of San Francisco’s International Terminal reflects on the goal to restore dignity to the airport experience.

Passengers enter the International Terminal at San Francisco International Airport. Photo © Bruce Damonte.
The terminal’s expressive roof structure is an instantly memorable icon for San Francisco. Photo © Bruce Damonte
The main hall of the terminal is a lofty, light-filled space. Photo © Bruce Damonte.
Sketch lighting studies of the roof structure. Image © SOM.

Structure and architectural form shape the user’s experience.

The arrivals and departures levels are designed to help passengers find their way intuitively. Image © SOM.
A section of the main hall shows an innovative arrangement of space, with offices located above the ticket counters. Image © SOM.
Photo © Bruce Damonte
Sculptural light reflectors by James Carpenter Design Associates. Photo © Bruce Damonte.
Photo © Bruce Damonte

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