Stantec's airport for Niagara Falls aims to reflect the grandeur of its surroundings
A design that is inspired by one of the world's most spectacular natural attractions, the new air terminal building reflects the ambitions of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to create a 'gateway' building for the Niagara region. In response to the client's desire for the building to be unique, distinctive, and memorable for visitors and residents alike, the design solution focused on the grandeur and power of the Niagara Falls.
The wave roof forms evokes the movement and nature of water, and the act of bridging the falls and nations. The stratification of rock under the flowing roofs evokes the geology and topography of the Niagara river and gorge, the combination of which creates one of the great wonders of the world.
Natural daylight is allowed deep into the building by the compact floor plate and by the clerestory glazing as a result of the alternating crests of the roof forms. Large roof overhangs act as integrated structural sunscreens to protect the building and its occupants from excessive heat gain or glare. Building materials have been selected from natural and local sources to reduce their environmental impact, while the buildings envelope has been designed with high thermal resistance and rain screen detailing.
The interior spaces are detailed with a soothing, calming palette of colors and materials including regional wood veneer paneling, porcelain tile flooring, glass and stainless steel canopies, guards and partitions bringing warmth and texture to the public spaces within the terminal.
The design achieves a timeless combination of durable natural materials and elegant forms and succeeds in providing a memorable arrival and departure experience for passengers and a landmark for residents of the region. It meets the functional demands of a sophisticated 21st century airport terminal, achieves a rare degree of flexibility in accommodating domestic and international flights, and sets a new benchmark for the marriage of a highly complex building program with a strong, appropriate 'sense of place'.