Design Daily: Sneak Peek at SFO’s New Terminal 3 by Gensler


San Francisco International Airport gets another gorgeous upgrade with its renovated Terminal 3 Boarding Area E, which opens for flights today. Gensler, the SF-based firm behind Terminal 2′s clean cladding and artistic commissions (cue the floating sculptures of Kendall Buster and Janet Eichelman, commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission through the city’s percent-for-art ordinance), took the reins again for this project, which also targets LEED Gold certification and interactive design elements. 

The $138 million renovation encompassed 60,000 square feet of the terminal (or 10 United Airlines gates). Among the highlights? Heightened ceilings and skylights that draw in more natural light to the holding rooms; a yoga room featuring a Zen-inspired, floor-to-ceiling illuminated fissure; circadian adaptive lighting in the hold rooms that mimic natural lighting; a children’s play area with large moving circles set into the floor; and two areas designated for pop-up shops, such as Ferry-Building standby McEvoy Olive Oil from Petaluma, and Collector from Berkeley. The new boarding area features two new site-specific artworks: a psychedelic installation by local artist Eric Staller and a suspended light sculpture by Merge Conceptual Design. The new artworks were commissioned for the airport by the San Francisco Arts Commission, which is also responsible for the exceptional suite of two-dimensional works by such greats as Wayne Thiebaud, Jay DeFeo and Robert Bechtle. A raised “Flight Deck” near the entry, created in partnership with Razorfish, houses touch screen panels that relay information about SFO flights throughout the world. Similar to Terminal 2, connectedness is a priority. Find with elevated work tables, free WiFi and hundreds of easily accesible power outlets throughout the space. 

Check out our preview of the new terminal, which opens January 28.



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