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Industry & Trends

New Kansas City Airport Terminal Topped with Giant Wood-Clad Canopy

The latest example of innovative and creative uses for wood can be found at the new Kansas City International Airport main terminal which features a giant wood-clad canopy.

Wood continues to prove its versatility and creativity with the latest example being at the Kansas City International Airport where a large wood-clad canopy tops the newly built main terminal.

The two-story terminal, which replaces three older structures from the 1970s, officially opened this month and is described by SOM, the firm that designed it, as the “largest single infrastructure project in the history of Kansas City.”

Its most distinctive feature is the giant wooden overhang, shading both the departure area outside and extending into the interior of the terminal itself. Made of hemlock cladding, the roof offers what SOM calls a “warm” experience for people in transit, according to the design website Dezeen which reported on the new structure.

The airport terminal also features a massive limestone wall, an art installation sporting thousands of colorful wind spinners and fully accessible design elements characterized by its one-level departure design that avoids stairs and escalators and desks and counters set at wheelchair height.

Conde Nast Traveler magazine, in describing the new terminal building as a “glimpse into the future of air travel,” said, “The new MCI terminal is clearly more than just a pretty face—but the sheer curb appeal is an undeniable selling point.”


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