New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
650,000 square feet / 60,000 square meters
The new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport presents an innovative and functional approach to air travel with a design that reflects the vibrant culture of New Orleans. This new world-class airport will feature convenient access, intuitive wayfinding, spacious departures and arrivals halls, and increased international capacity. With two concourses and 30 gates, this state-of-the-art airport will be able to serve 5 million passengers a year at its opening with room for future expansion.
For easy movement in and out of the terminal, the departures and arrivals curbs are on two levels, with a separate roadway to each. This sequence allows the parking garage to be placed directly adjacent to the terminal, with the garage’s top level below the departures curb. Along both roadways, abundant landscaping that includes an allée of oak trees emulates the landscapes of Louisiana and shields the garage from view.
The building’s form evokes the geography of the Delta region and soft curves of the Mississippi River. Symmetrical in plan, the building forms a gentle arc on three sides. A monumental roof rises toward the building’s centerline, where it crests over a large central skylight. The terminal facades are primarily glass, allowing for views out to the airfield.
The terminal will create a welcoming arrival befitting the spirit of New Orleans. Arriving passengers enter at the second floor, moving from the concourses through the main terminal before reaching a central atrium that connects and unites the three floors of the terminal. Continuing to the first level, travelers are then greeted by a spacious and inviting arrivals hall featuring an indoor sculpture garden and impressive views of the central skylight above.
The airport’s interior design alludes to the culture, ecology, and urban fabric of New Orleans. The interiors draw colors and patterns for the architecture of New Orleans neighborhoods and occasional indoor green spaces recall the public squares and courts so essential to the city. Numerous skylights brighten the public spaces and filter daylight, filling the interiors with the dappled light often seen in the city’s many courtyards and shaded parks. In addition, retail and concession areas will feature local food, marketplace shopping, and impromptu performance spaces.