New Work: Martha’s Vineyard Airport ARFF-SRE Facility

MVY ARFF collage

The JACOBS | XChange Architects Team has been selected by the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission Designer Selection Committee to design the new integrated Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) and Snow Removal Equipment (SRE) facility intended to replace the airport’s existing post-war era building.  The design-only phase of the work will include preparing contract documents for the demolition of the existing ARFF/ SRE Building located adjacent to the airport’s General Aviation Building, relocation of an existing airfield lighting vault, and the construction of a new ARFF/SRE building at the same location.

The proposed new ARFF/SRE building is anticipated to provide additional space for offices, training/conference room, staff day room, sleeping and bathroom/shower facilities, kitchen, laundry room, extinguishing agent storage facility, vehicle maintenance areas, SRE & other airport equipment storage, vehicle washing bays, parking areas and other miscellaneous spaces.

The anticipated 12-month design phase of this project will be overseen by Daedalus Projects Inc., the Owner’s Project Representative for the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission.  Stay tuned for more updates on this project.

MVY ARFF on truck

All images, drawings and photographs courtesy Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission and the JACOBS | XChange Architects Team.

New Work: Barnstable Municipal Airport

Birdseye view rendering - illustrating new passenger terminal and parking facilities

Birdseye view rendering – new passenger terminal and parking facilities

XChange Architects, as a subconsultant to JACOBS, has been retained to provide A/E design assistance to Barnstable Municipal Airport for the maintenance and repair of the Airport’s passenger terminal facilities –  completed by Suffolk Construction in 2011 – the capstone of a $40 million airport improvement program.  The task order work will include baggage make-up area improvements, airside weather protection and fenestration improvements, and building life cycle management monitoring.  The work is eligible for funding under the MassDOT Airport Safety and Maintenance Program.

View of main terminal entrance & landside curb.  Image courtesy Barnstable Municipal Airport.

View of main terminal entrance & landside curb. Image courtesy Barnstable Municipal Airport.

Barnstable Municipal Airport, located in Hyannis, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, provides commercial and general aviation services to Boston and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.  The Airport also serves as the corporate headquarters for regional airline, Cape Air.  It is owned by the Town of Barnstable and managed by the Barnstable Municipal Airport Commission and its staff.  Today, the airport consists of a new 35,000 sq. ft. passenger terminal, a new 85 ft. air traffic control tower, a new aircraft ramp and a new vehicle access road—all opened at the end of 2011— extensive parking facilities, a rescue and maintenance building and an aircraft fuel farm. More than 40 private tenants lease hangar space on parts of the airport property.

All photos, images and drawings copyright Barnstable Municipal Airport and XChange Architects LLC, unless otherwise noted.

New Work – Martha’s Vineyard Airport

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We have been selected – as part of the JACOBS Team – by the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission to assist the Airport in executing aviation planning, design and construction phase services under the Airport’s Capital Improvement Plan for the fiscal years 2014 – 2017.

martha-s-vineyard-airport-code-mvy-men-s-t-shirt-black-solid-design_designMartha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY) is operated by the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission. The Airport provides air carrier and general aviation services to the island and is a vital link for island businesses. It is located on 675+ acres and is comprised of one FBO and more than 70 tenants who operate private businesses on leased airport property.  There are two active runways that serve Martha’s Vineyard Airport – Runway 6-24 and Runway 15-33.  The airport provides or is host to a variety of services: including airport management, aircraft parking, commercial service passenger terminal services, aircraft rental, flight training, aircraft charters, and aviation fueling.

Stay tuned for our developments with the JACOBS Team at MVY.

Rethinking the Airport Passenger Experience – The BaltiCloud Terminal

BaltiCloud-concourse view

Perspective view of arrivals concourse level with “cloud” EFTE roof structure above – Riga Terminal design concept for AirBaltic Airlines.  Rendering courtesy of Hartnessvision, in collaboration with XChange Architects

As we kick off the busy summer travel season, we were interested to read Vanity Fair architecture contributor and former New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger’s observations of the modern passenger experience in today’s airports.  In a CNN article, entitled “Airports where the architecture soars, ” he laments that there really is no “there” in many of today’s passenger terminals; these proverbial 21st Century global gateways that (in many cases) now fill the role formerly held by the grand urban rail stations in welcoming arriving visitors.

Mr. Goldberger noted:

Where they exist at airports, the more impressive spaces are usually located in the airports’ departure halls. Those passengers are rushing to clear security and catch flights and don’t have time to appreciate their space. The arrivals hall usually doesn’t inspire much.

For baggage access reasons and the sad reality that most arriving passengers are generally motivated to get as far away from the airport as possible, it is not all that unusual to find arrivals halls – with baggage claim devices and customs screening facilities – located on the very bottom and being fairly uninspiring spaces to greet travelers into a city.  Many new airport passenger terminals are reconsidering this paradigm, both at airports with a large proportion of travelers ending their journey at the airport as well as those with a significant population of passengers connecting to other flights where the arriving “gateway” experience and the immigration / customs clearance process really matters and may affect passenger decisions when selecting air travel alternatives.

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Airside aerial of the proposed “BaltiCloud” Terminal, evening view with downtown Riga in the background.

BaltiCloud-cloud study screen shot

Preliminary geometric studies of the EFTE “cloud” roof in 3D Studio MAX.  Screenshots courtesy of Hartnessvision LLC.

In a joint effort to develop a new terminal design concept in collaboration with Hartnessvision LLC, for a new passenger terminal in Riga, Latvia, for their primary air carrier, AirBaltic, we chose to literally invert the sectional arrangement of the arrivals and departures flows as well as the way we conceive the roof of the passenger terminal building.  We were intrigued by the possibilities of an EFTE plastic membrane in offering a virtually roof-less airport experience.  Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, or EFTE, is a highly durable and tensile plastic membrane with a high range of temperature and climatic tolerance.  Made famous in the 2008 Water Cube pavillion in the Beijing Olympics, we believe very strongly in the possibilities of integrating this dynamic enclosure material to “dematerialize” the roof.

Our terminal design concept, which we refer to as the “BaltiCloud” –  a play on the Air Baltic identity and the notion of the building as a simple floating cloud – is characterized by 2 simple ideas of re-introducing passengers with the unique sensibilities of air travel:  first, the inversion of the arrivals (above) and departures (below) experience and second, the introduction of a simple, but multi-functional cloud roof serving to both eliminate the all-too-common dreary travel experience while using EFTE air pillows of varying opacity to serve as a way-finding device.

Without compromising functionality, safety, and operational excellence, we like to think that design is the glue that synthesizes all of the core elements that define successful, world-class transportation facilities.  These lines of enquiry provided us a vehicle to debate and rethink the airport passenger building type and most importantly, the potential re-imagination of the passenger air travel experience.

BaltiCloud-exploded axon

Exploded axonometric view of the proposed terminal facilities – Riga International Airport, Latvia

All photographs, images and drawings copyright Hartnessvision LLC and XChange Architects LLC, unless otherwise noted.

The Biscayne Bird – a Seaplane Terminal for Watson Island


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Dawntown Miami announced the results of their 2013 design competition last week for a forward-thinking landmark for the City of Miami.  Since 2008, Dawntown Miami has been hosting annual design competitions that facilitate a healthy dialogue about the City of Miami and its evolving urban condition.  Competition topics range from new ideas for metromover stations to sewer pump stations to a concept for a seaplane terminal.

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Site plan and perspectives – Watson Island

We participated in the Dawntown 2010 ideas competition for a new seaplane terminal on Watson Island – located along the Biscayne Bay across from downtown Miami.  Coincidentally, a new tunnel boring connection between the Island and the Port of Miami was completed last week.  Inspired by the unique vantage point of the Island (vis-à-vis the City) and its bio-diversity, our proposal, “The Biscayne Bird,” explores an architectural and urban design solution that both harmonizes with the site’s natural and man-made assets and stands alone as a distinctive public space to see and be seen.

DT-Diagrams

Diagrams

The Bird – a singular massing concept was deployed to optimize the use of the space-constrained site while giving the building its own unique waterfront presence.  The proposal seamlessly integrates public access to the waterfront with the operational requirements of a modern seaplane terminal.  The resultant form at once responds to the Biscayne Bay context while harmonizing with the natural open space that is an integral part of Watson Island. The design’s response to the operational and sustainability objectives raised by the competition resulted in a form evoking the spirit of the seagulls in the immediate area – connecting air, sea and land.

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Building section illustrating sustainable design elements in the new seaplane terminal building

All photographs, images and drawings copyright XChange Architects LLC, unless otherwise noted.

Sequestration and the MA Transportation Bond Bill

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View of existing Administration and SRE Building, Beverly Municipal Airport

The automatic Federal budgetary cuts associated with Congressional Sequestration coupled with the ongoing uncertainty in the Massachusetts legislature over Gov. Deval Patrick’s proposed $19 billion dollar Transportation Bond Bill for overhauling the Commonwealth’s aging transportation network over the next decade will have an immediate, significant, and long-term impact to the Massachusetts aviation system – one of several key gateways to the New England region.

BVY addn persp - FINAL

Birdseye view of one of the potential SRE building expansion concepts

At the invitation of the on-call airport engineer, Jacobs Engineering, we recently assisted Beverly Municipal Airport – one of several MA airports that has been scheduled by the FAA to begin scaling down contract air traffic control tower operations in April as a result of the Sequester – in developing the project scope for a flexible and cost-effective adaptive re-use building expansion to enhance the Airport’s existing 1980s hybrid Administration and Snow Removal Equipment (SRE) Facility.

Model view - FINAL

Model: typical building expansion bay with rooftop PV array

All photographs, images and drawings copyright XChange Architects LLC, unless otherwise noted.