T – Gates Concourse, Washington Dulles International Airport

Dulles Airport

Project Narrative

As proposed in the original master plan for Dulles Airport, the main terminal departure gates were designed to serve regional and shorter flight aircraft.  When fully developed, the departure gates will occupy two concourses, symmetrically arranged to the east and west of the original air traffic control tower.  Each concourse is composed of a circulation spine supporting a series of departure lounges, airline operations areas, public toilets, concessions, and building support services. The location of the east and west concourses is particularly congested by existing and proposed structures related to the transport of passengers and baggage between the main terminal and midfield concourse buildings.  As a result, separate construction packages were prepared for the following facilities: a new mechanical, addition to enlarge the base of the existing control tower, 10-gate west concourse, 10-gate east concourse divided into two phases of five gates each.

All five packages were closely coordinated with ongoing construction projects underway at Dulles.

Mechanical Basement:  In addition to the main terminal departure gates, numerous adjacent facilities required the existing airport utility infrastructure to be upgraded.  For efficiency, a common utility distribution area has been developed under the east concourse housing a mechanical room with air handlers and heat exchangers, water service entrance and fire suppression system, and an electrical substation.  Since a large portion of the basement is located below an aircraft apron, the structure has been designed to accommodate aircraft, ground service equipment, and boarding bridge loadings. No finished ceilings are provided in the basement; all walls are constructed of painted concrete or CMU; and all floors are exposed, sealed concrete.

East & West Concourses:  The exteriors of the concourses have been designed to complement the original pattern of the control tower base.  Pre-cast concrete panels, bush-hammered to match the existing exterior concrete walls, are located at the base of the concourses; the top of the pre-cast panels is set to match the top of the concrete walls on the tower base.  Continuous clerestory curtain walls are located above the pre-cast concrete wall panels on the concourses, and dark gray metal soffits and fasciae are located above the clerestories to match the pattern established by the control tower base building.  The floors of the concourses are set 5 

feet above grade to accommodate passenger boarding bridges; the overall height of the concourses is 20 feet above grade.  Access to aircraft is provided by both apron-drive passenger boarding bridges and a series of glass-enclosed apron-access ramps.  The width of the concourse buildings is limited to 40 feet by existing site conditions; the width has been divided internally into a 12-feet wide single-loaded corridor and 28-feet wide departure lounges.  Finishes in public areas have been selected for durability and for compatibility with existing finishes in the main terminal and tower base building.  Corridor floors are thin-set epoxy terrazzo; departure lounge floors are carpet tile.  Walls are finished with impact-resistant porcelain enamel metal wall panels, and ceilings are composed of perforated metal panels set into sloped planes recalling the inverse curve of the existing main terminal.

Tower Base Building Addition:  To the south of the existing tower base, a single story addition has been designed to connect the two concourses to the existing tower base building and main terminal.  The addition creates a symmetrical, rectangular base around the existing tower and provides area for centralized building services, passenger amenities, and concessions.  Like the concourses, the addition has been designed to complement the original pattern of the control tower base.  The exterior is clad in pre-cast concrete panels, bush-hammered to match the existing exterior concrete walls.  Finishes in public areas have been selected for durability and for compatibility with existing finishes in the main terminal and tower base building.  Floors are thin-set epoxy terrazzo; walls are finished with impact-resistant metal wall panels, and ceilings are composed of acoustical panels set into exposed ceiling grids.

Design Statement:  Similar to the existing tower base building, the main terminal departure gates are composed of steel frame structures supported by a concrete base.  Following the example set by the main terminal, the structural frames supporting the concourse roofs have been exposed on both exterior and exterior, dividing the length of each concourse into repeating modules. The palette of materials for the concourses has been limited to match the existing tower base and main terminal; no contrasting materials or finishes are used.  The resulting structures form a functional extension of the ground level of the tower base building and a visual base for the main terminal, located immediately to the north.

Giuliani Scope of Services: Prime Consultant providing Design Management & Architectural Services:

  • Programming (Including passenger traffic studies)
  • Schematic Design (Including analyses of alternative schemes and proposals)
  • Design Development (Including project phasing packages)
  • Construction Documents Preparation
  • Construction Support Services (Submittals, RFI Responses, Site Observations)

Project Statistics

Square Feet Dollars Months D/B Years

Design & Construction Team

Architecture & Interiors | Giuliani Associates Architects

Topographic Survey | William H. Gordon & Associates

Geotechnical Engineer | Thomas L. Brown

Civil Engineer | Baker International

Structural Engineer | Shemro Engineering

M/E/P Engineering | Syska Group

Small Voltage, MUFIDS, MUSE, CATV | Big Sky, Inc.

Life Safety, Code, & Fire Protection | Schirmer Engineering

Pedestrian Flow Modeling | JKH Mobility

Historic Preservation | Robinson & Associates

General Contractor | San Jose Construction / Facchina