Photo: New Orleans International Airport
Many things come to mind when people think of New Orleans – the beautiful architecture of the buildings, the vibrancy of the French Quar- ter and, of course, the landmark Superdome for great sporting events. What they probably don’t picture is a spectacular world-class airport welcoming them to the Big Easy, but that’s exactly what millions of air travelers will soon experience when they visit the Crescent City. A visionary project of the City of New Orleans, the new terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will showcase the vibrant spirit and distinct culture of the city. The Hunt-Gibbs-Boh- Metro Joint Venture team was the construction manager of this $1 bil- lion game-changing project, which is one of the most visible symbols of infrastructure rebuilding in the Gulf South region post-Katrina. Iconic design The world-class design of the 972,000-square-foot replacement termi- nal was conceived by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and executed by the Crescent City Aviation Team, a joint venture of Leo A. Daly Company and Atkins North America, Inc. The complex will feature three concourses with 35 passenger gates, seamless connections between concourses, nearly 80,000 square feet of retail space, parking garages and a surface parking lot, and an enor- mous concrete apron that ties into existing runways. Innovative Columns Support New Orleans Airport Advanced self-consolidating concrete provides the ideal solution to challenges in constructing tall and complex columns at world-class terminal. By Stephen Salzer and Dennis Traylor
According to the design team, the terminal’s architectural form evokes the geography of the Delta region and the soft curves of the Mississippi River. The curved, T-shaped building forms a gentle arc on three sides, and a monumental roof rises toward the structure’s centerline where it crests over a large central skylight. Designed to allow long spans, the spherical-shaped roof is supported by massive concrete columns to reflect the region’s modern and upward trajectory. Column construction challenges To optimize the complex geometric design of the structure, the project team used specialized software to distribute the column grid, optimize the roof shape and right-size the building footprint. They also relied on innovative building materials throughout the project, including an ad- vanced self-consolidating concrete (SCC) to produce the 350 massive support columns for the superstructure. The heights of the 40-inch and 48-inch terminal columns ranged from 47 to 73 feet, and the heights of the 28-inch and 30-inch concourse columns ranged from 33 to 51 feet.
Designed to allow long spans, the spherical-shaped roof of the terminal is supported by massive concrete columns to reflect the region’s modern and upward trajectory. Photo: New Orleans International Airport
csengineermag.com january 2020
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