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LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B officially opens

HOK and WSP USA designed the project.

June 24, 2020 |
LaGuardia's Terminal B passenger arrivals and departures common-use space

All photos courtesy of LaGuardia Gateway Partners

LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B, a four-story, 850,000-sf facility that houses passenger services and amenities, has officially opened. 

The steel-framed facility replaces a disjointed patchwork of structures with one that closely follows the curves of the Grand Central Parkway and the airport access roads. It was designed as a highly efficient and adaptable terminal that pays homage to the “architectural grandeur and individuality” of New York City.

“Our design concept focuses on two main components: a superior passenger experience and an exterior architectural expression that conveys a civic presence from the Grand Central Parkway,” said Carl Galioto, FAIA, HOK’s President and New York Office Managing Principal. “The building is a metaphor for New York, a city of islands and bridges, and the terminal is connected to the city with views of the skyline from the passenger bridges. Our ambition was to help transform LaGuardia into an airport with a distinct civic identity worthy of this metropolis.”


LaGuardia Terminal B interior


Also known as a headhouse, Terminal B includes extensive food and beverage and retail options. Connected to two island concourses by a pair of 450-foot-long steel truss pedestrian bridges, the headhouse serves as the nexus to the new Terminal B. Arriving and departing passengers can view panoramic skyline and airfield views from the transparent-walled, 65-foot-high bridges as taxiing planes pass underneath them. The bridges also enabled the design team to move the terminal 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, which allowed for two additional miles of aircraft taxi lanes that will reduce airport ground delays.

The team designed a simplified circulation network comprising over eight miles of new roadway and 20 new bridges that provide an easy connection from the airport to the Grand Central Parkway and New York City. The roadways in front of the head house frame the Grand Central Parkway, and its column structures align with the head house design to create a cohesive appearance.


LaGuardia Terminal B passenger arrival and departures


Inside the terminal, all check-in and passenger screening areas are located on the third floor. This location gives Terminal B the adaptability to accommodate evolving security screening and technology as needs change. The “common-use” design allows airlines to move easily within the terminal, expanding or shrinking their footprints as needed.


See Also: A 780-ft-long pedestrian walkway is positioned over an active taxi lane at Sea-Tac International


Terminal B forgoes the widespread practice among airports of offering monumental spaces to departures while relegating low-ceilinged, basement-like zones to arrivals; incoming and outgoing passengers to Terminal B share soaring, grand-scaled sequences.


Terminal B panoramic views


Sustainability features include non-glare daylighting, passive shading, natural local materials, and storm resiliency and the new infrastructure layout will reduce the airport’s overall carbon footprint due to lower fuel demands from taxiing aircraft. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners is composed of Vantage Airport Group, Skanska, Meridiam and JLC Infrastructure for development and equity investment. Vantage Airport Group leads the redevelopment program and management of Terminal B, with Skanska Walsh as the design-build joint venture and HOK and WSP for design.


terminal B's new pedestrian bridges


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