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$1B terminal opens at New Orleans International Airport

LEO A DALY designed the project.

November 12, 2019 |
New Orleans international airport exterior curtain wall

Photos: LEO A DALY/Atkins

After seven years of design and planning work, the new North Terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has opened.

The 35-gate, $1 billion terminal’s architectural form is an homage to the gentle curves of the Mississippi River and immerses visitors in the culture, geography, and history of New Orleans. Natural light streams into the terminal via skylights that are meant to evoke the city’s tree-shaded urban markets. The terminal’s three-story central atrium includes a jazz garden that will feature live music and a large glass-sealed image of oak trees in the morning fog taken by a local photographer is adjacent to the main elevator.

Designed for the maximum convenience of passengers, a single security checkpoint serves both foreign and domestic flights and adapts to accommodate large tourist crowds during special events like Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras. The terminal is easily navigable thanks to its layered, open feeling with prominent views of the airport. A unique concession program celebrates the city’s culinary, music, and arts heritage.


New Orleans International Airport interior


Extensive wind-tunnel modeling and on-site testing resulted in a glass curtain wall that is able to withstand hurricane-force winds and a spherical roof shape allows long spans while accommodating heavy rainfall.


See Also: COX Architecture and Zaha Hadid Architects will design the Western Sydney Airport


The terminal will accommodate the rapidly growing airport, which is now the fifth fastest growing airport in the U.S. The terminal’s design was developed and completed by the Crescent City Aviation Team (CCAT), a joint venture of Atkins and LEO A DALY. CCAT led the design of the airport terminal, its three concourses, concession program, two parking garages, aviation radar and electrical facilities, pump station, airside aprons, and landside roadway systems. The terminal design was based on an initial concept by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.

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