Gensler completes new concourse for San Jose International Airport
The master plan for the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport called for a new central terminal, concourse, parking facilities and roadway system to serve air travelers in the future. The master plan will be realised in phases, with phase one being the north half of the new concourse, hence the name, The North Concourse. The phase one North Concourse, 1,600 ft long with up to 11 gates, will expand to over 4000 ft long in future phases. Facilities for ticketing, passenger security check, and bag claim will be temporarily housed in the North Concourse until the future Central terminal is built, when they will be relocated there.
San Jose is blessed with over 325 days of sunshine a year and has an almost ideal climate. This has afforded the residents of the area an indoor-outdoor lifestyle that can be found in many pedestrian streets in San Jose lined with outdoor dining, shops and plazas. The concourse is conceived as a space such as these. A curved, translucent roof recalls canvas sunscreens draped over busy shopping streets, pedestrian ways, and markets often found in temperate, Mediterranean climates. The glass roof, a contemporary expression of canvas screens, allows ample amounts of filtered natural light in while keeping hot, direct sunlight out.
Passengers will pass through a concourse bathed in natural light on the way to their gates. The form and materials of the building are designed to strategically allow indirect and filtered natural light in, reducing energy consumption and contributing to a planned LEED building certification. The curved, translucent glass surface of the roof is baffled and patterned to softly dapple and filter sunlight entering from above. Shaded clerestories, skylights, and light shelves allow natural light in elsewhere, augmenting and balancing the light from above.
Expressing the airport’s role as The Gateway to Silicon Valley, the front façade of the building combines an asymmetrical roof form hovering over sail shaped screens that can accept electronically projected images, expressive of the technological innovation of the area. During the day, the curving shapes of these screens will catch differing angles of light as the sun moves across the sky creating an ever changing, shimmering image form the freeway and approach to the airport.