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The Architect’s Newspaper: Miller Hull Partnership and Woods Bagot bring the outdoors in for concourse expansion at Sea-Tac Airport
3-28-2022 | News
By Matt Hickman
Hot on the heels of the completion of SOM’s nearly $1 billion International Arrivals Facility (IAF) at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, hometown firm Miller Hull Partnership and Woods Bagot have revealed their design for the next major capital project at the busy West Coast aviation hub: an amenity-heavy, 145,500-square-foot expansion spanning the airport’s existing C and D concourses.
In a statement, Matt Ducharme, a principal at the Adelaide, Australia-founded Woods Bagot who serves as the global firm’s West Coast Design Leader, described the expanded C Concourse at Sea-Tac’s main terminal as being “an inspiring gathering place that is a destination in and of itself. This ambitious project intertwines the very best aspects of placemaking, sustainability, and signature architecture.”
Set to be completed in 2027 with major construction work kicking off in mid-2023, the Port of Seattle’s $340 million C Concourse expansion at Sea-Tac will be anchored by a soaring public space dubbed the Grand Stairs where passengers will find open, amphitheater-style seating and a bustling, marketplace-inspired area “designed to reflect the textures and activities of the famous markets in Seattle and the region,” according to a press release revealing initial design renderings and details. Authenticity is key here and, as such, an area for buskers will join the assemblage of retail and food stalls at the center of the newly expanded concourse. Atop the Grand Stairs will be a mezzanine level that will feature additional eateries and shops along with a series of balconies where travelers can pause to look out onto Sea-Tac’s airfield (with glimpses of the region’s dramatic natural beauty beyond) through massive windows that will flood the interior with natural light.
Also included in the expansion will be a new 20,000-square-foot Alaska Airlines Lounge, interfaith prayer room, meditation room, nursing suite, and office space for the TSA, airlines, and airport businesses.
As detailed by Miller Hull and Woods Bagot, the design of the new building was inspired by the concept of “bringing in, seeing out” in that it “welcomes in the surrounding context and connects back to the regional landscape.”
“The C Concourse Expansion will bring much-needed light, air, and passenger amenities to one of the busiest crossroads in the terminal,” said Brian Court, lead designer and partner at Miller Hull. “The new building was designed to bring back the excitement of flight with soaring interior volumes of space and multiple outdoor observation decks that reconnect us to the magic of travel and the iconic mountain and sound views that define the Pacific Northwest.”