One of the first U.S. terminals to be designed and built following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal at Indianapolis International Airport established new security paradigms while reaffirming the importance of vital public space, robust human interaction and the marvelous event of flying.
The $1.2 billion, 1.2-million-square-foot terminal is a dual-level, 40-gate structure situated midfield between the airport's two main runways.
The dynamic spatial and sculptural form manifests three primary objectives: first, that the terminal acts as a monumental gateway. This goal was achieved by an arch in the transverse section, creating a sense of threshold. The second objective is that the terminal celebrate the event of flight. This was achieved by the longitudinal section that elevates at the landside, descends at security, and rises again to airside. Finally, that the terminal is a high-performance building. This was achieved by refining and tailoring the roof shape, size and apertures to create good natural light, reflect heat, channel water and harness airflows that draw clean air through the terminal.
The heart of the terminal is the grand civic space, marked with a 230-foot-diameter hyperbolic skylight. It is the circulation nexus of the airport, so its grandeur celebrates the intense social intercourse that happens here. The circular space makes an allusion to Monument Circle – the center of downtown Indianapolis – and the natural light and views afforded by the skylight bring the landscape-of-the-sky into the space.
The terminal is also a showcase of sustainability. Discharge from fuel and deicing are controlled using bio swales populated with plants that consume hydrocarbons. Detention ponds encourage growth of microorganisms that also consume airport discharge. In the terminal, filtered glass mitigates heat from solar gain while harvesting sunlight to reduce use of artificial lighting. It has a radiant heating and cooling system in the floor to help regulate temperature only in the space occupied by passengers.
The roof channels rainwater for collection and use inside the terminal. Water-saving fixtures with automated controls impose less demand for water and waste treatment. Selective use of landscaping, paving materials, and roofing reflects and dissipates heat and stabilizes outdoor temperatures around the site.
An intuitive layout facilitates a seamless transition from ground to air transportation and vice-versa.
J.D. Power and Associates gave the terminal its highest marks in passenger satisfaction in a 2009 survey of 64 major airports. The terminal earned 777 points – the most of any airport surveyed – in airport accessibility, baggage claim, check-in and baggage check-in process, terminal facilities, ease of security checks, and food and retail services.
HOK served as design architect of the terminal, collaborating with Indianapolis-based AeroDesign Group.
For more than 30 years, plans have been in the works to overhaul and redesign the Indianapolis Airport to create a state of the art terminal that is timeless in design and flexible enough to grow and change with the times. Last November, the city unveiled the largest development initiative in Indianapolis' history. Designed by HOK, one of the leading airport terminal architects, the curved roof of the new Indianapolis International Airport acts as a symbolic gateway to the region.
As the first airport that has been built from the ground up since September 11th, 2001, Indianapolis is ready to greet visitors with a modern facility equipped with the latest design, security and sustainable features. Situated 16 miles outside the city center, the new dual-level terminal sits midfield between the two main runways. In addition to 40 gates that are equipped to meet the needs of narrow and widebody aircraft, the building houses all ticketing and check-in activities as well as security, baggage claim, US Customs and Border Protection facilities.
The heart of the 1.2 million square foot terminal is Civic Plaza, a central gathering point that is reminiscent of Indianapolis' central public space, Monument Circle. Highlighted by a 200-foot wide skylight, Civic Plaza provides travelers with necessities such as concessions, retail stores and security while incorporating artwork and public event space.
Besides creating a dynamic space filled with art, retail stores and concessions, the architects and designers were tasked with keeping sustainability top of mind as well. As a new construction the airport had the opportunity to use the latest energy efficient architectural designs and energy management systems.
In fact, even the 55 linear miles of main ceiling panels contribute to sustainability. The 300C metal ceiling panels from Hunter Douglas Architectural Products are installed in the concourses, security screening checkpoint areas, public corridors and baggage claim areas.
Expansive windows made with Lamberts mouth-blown glass from Bendheim are found throughout the Indianapolis Airport in a multitude of colors and designs. The windows featuring poems by local writers inspire travelers with thoughts of home, safety, adventure, and excitement. The windows were fabricated using a silicone lamination technique.