Curbside view of Terminal One at the San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport’s planned replacement for the aging Terminal 1 will feature a façade designed by artist James Carpenter, it was announced Tuesday.

Carpenter has been selected as the lead artist for the New T1 project, airport officials said. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s board indicated at the beginning of the process a vision for art to be incorporated in the development of the project.

“Artists have the ability to enhance the experience of airport customers and the broader community,” said Johanna Schiavoni, chair of the airport authority board. “More than just a functional airport terminal, this building will be a work of art to elevate the experience of our travelers and our community.”

A New York City-based artist and designer, Carpenter established his studio, James Carpenter Design Associates, in 1979 to “expand his interest in architecture into a deeper interest in materials, making and engineering.” Some of his major projects include the Israel Museum’s expansion and campus renewal project in Jerusalem and the Museum at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Carpenter will be a member of the board-approved design-build team, which includes Turner-Flatiron and Gensler. This collaboration is the first of its kind for the airport authority, which has typically commissioned artists to design original works of art inside and outside buildings in the past.

Carpenter and team have been charged with developing a design for the building itself, focusing on its south facade.

“The façade will be one of the most highly visible and memorable features of the new Terminal 1,” said Kimberly Becker, president and CEO of the airport authority.

The intended goal of this approach is to develop a design that “harnesses the abundance of sunshine San Diego enjoys, creating a warm and welcoming feeling for passengers,” an airport authority statement read.

Carpenter and his team intend to transform the interior of the new Terminal 1 space through a varying play of light and color that occurs throughout the day. Their design will celebrate the changing character of the sky from sunrise to sunset, using a variety of design elements he refers to as “light interventions.”

“We have been seeking ways to bring the unique qualities of light in San Diego into a signature for the building,” said Carpenter. “Our collaboration with Terrence Young and his team at Gensler has been remarkably productive and we look forward to continuing our work to capture and emulate the surrounding warmth and beauty found in Southern California.”

The new Terminal 1 building design is intended to be climate-resilient and will utilize both renewable electricity and a stormwater capture and reuse system.

In addition to the new terminal, the project includes improvements to the airfield, sustainability enhancements and new transportation options that make getting to and from the airport easier.

Construction on the new terminal could begin in early 2022, with completion anticipated by late 2026.

–City News Service

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