International Arrivals Facility, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Welcoming international passengers into the United States with an authentic Pacific Northwest sense of place
Client Port of Seattle
Certifications pursuing LEED Silver
Size 556,787 SF
International traffic continues to grow at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, increasing more than 45 percent since 2009, including 14 new intercontinental services over the past 10 years. To meet the needs of current passengers and encourage continued growth, the new International Arrivals Facility (IAF) increases the airport’s capacity for international travel, updates and improves the processing of arriving passengers and baggage and provides a world-class experience that makes the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport a preferred West Coast travel hub.
Utilizing one of the last available locations surrounding the airport, the IAF is key for the future development and passenger capacity of the airport. It is designed to complete the geometry of the existing site and is comprised of three components: a new 900-foot Pedestrian Walkway that connects to the existing South Satellite terminal, a new Sterile Corridor, which will allow international arrivals at 10 existing domestic gates and a new Arrivals Hall that will house baggage claim and U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing.
To create an authentic, memorable and preferred arrival experience for travelers connecting to domestic flights and those arriving to their final destination, the IAF welcomes passengers by celebrating the culture, heritage, natural beauty and pioneering spirit of the Pacific Northwest. Upon arrival, passengers deboarding at the South Satellite terminal are guided to the Pedestrian Walkway 85 feet off the ground that bridges the active runway. Enclosed with full-height glazing, the walkway provides ample daylight, as well as sweeping views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges on a clear day.
Continuing on, travelers pass through a Douglas fir portal into the expansive Arrivals Hall engulfed by daylight and open to the baggage claim area below. The interior space encourages intuitive wayfinding through the undulating roof using building materials that express a northwest sense of place, including large aggregate terrazzo flooring, cedar wall panels and locally-based art installations.
Guiding passengers through baggage claim and U.S. Customs, travelers exit the hall and descend a 450-foot sloped walkway overlooking a forested lightwell that connects forest canopy to forest floor. A second Douglas fir portal frames an exterior cascading basalt water feature that signals the end of the arrival experience and leads passengers into the existing Gina Marie Lindsey Hall.
Led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in collaboration with Miller Hull, the design team is partnered with Clark Construction and working collaboratively with the Port of Seattle to complete the project using a Progressive Design-Build delivery method. Members of the design-build team, owner team and key consultants are collocated in a shared office within close proximity to the site, allowing all team members to have consistent, face-to-face collaboration and coordination.
The IAF is currently in construction and is being built around the active airport with limited disruption to operations. Construction completion is targeted for August 2020. For more information and progress updates on the IAF, visit the Port of Seattle’s YouTube page.