Alfonso Architects along with The Beck Group has been awarded the $17m design build project at Tampa International Airport. The complex expansion will include 30,000 sq ft of additional space and a 40,000 sq. ft. renovation of existing space at Airside F. Project design starts this month with completion of the first phase by the end of 2012 and the entire upgrade finished by August 2013.The terminal, which originally opened in 1987, handles most of the international flights including daily non-stop service to London and four weekly flights to Cuba.
The Cuban connection is especially fitting for Alfonso Architects. The original Tampa airport was designed by Carlos Alfonso, Sr. in 1965. He emigrated with his young family from Cuba to Tampa in 1960. At age 12, Alberto Alfonso remembers his father scouting airports across the country, focusing on Saarinen's work in New York and Dallas. "It was the Mad Men era of flying" remarks Alfonso, now president of the eponymous firm started by his father. "Men and women dressed up to fly, it was still considered a glamorous experience."
Designing Airside C at Tampa International Airport for Southwest Airlines in 2005 allowed the second generation architect to recollect his father's research and imbue the airside with comfort inducing stress mitigations. The new Airside F improvements will further the legacy started by Alfonso Sr, as his son Alberto will design improvements to enhance the travel experience by adding processing booths and baggage claims devices and expanding the TSA screening area. Additionally, food and beverage concessions will be added and expanded.