Kansas City Airport Transformation by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
The new Kansas City airport is a $1.5 billion, single-terminal facility that opened in February 2023. It features a modern design, upgraded technology, and a variety of amenities for travelers.
|Project Name||Kansas City Airport|
|Architects||Skidmore, Owings & Merrill|
|Photographs||Lucas Blair Simpson|
|Manufacturer||Terrazzo & Marble|
|Engineering||Henderson Engineers Inc.|
SOM and CWC designed, planned, and engineered the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport. This 1.1-million-square-foot building replaces the old overcrowded terminals, expanding capacity with a 39-gate complex that can grow to 50 gates.
The project transforms the airport and offers an inclusive and accessible experience, showcasing the region’s culture.
The I-shaped building has two levels, one for departing and one for arriving passengers, each with their own access road and curb. Check-in and security are on the upper level near the entrance, while the lower level has baggage claim, customs, and a public garden.
After security, two parallel concourses with retail at the center are connected by a pedestrian passage that provides airfield views. The design places all post-security areas on the same level, making travel easier for passengers.
SOM collaborated with Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, CWC, and the city’s aviation department to hold community meetings and obtain feedback from locals on designing an airport terminal that is comfortable, convenient, and inclusive to everyone.
To make the terminal accessible to everyone, the city declared it should be the “world’s most accessible” and all gate desks, check-in positions, and information desks were made wheelchair accessible
A simulation program, the Kansas City Air Travel Experience, assists first-time flyers in understanding the air travel process before their trip. The terminal also offers an all-gender restroom, a sensory room for children, and a quiet space for travelers seeking a calming environment.
In short, the new terminal by SOM caters to all segments of the public, reflecting its commitment to inclusivity.
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The Kansas City Airport is the second US terminal to achieve LEED v4 GOLD BD+C: NC certification and the first in the Midwest.
Its goal is to use renewable energy and preserve original vegetation. The building is powered by electricity and plans to convert to green energy with a future solar farm.
The use of FSC-certified wood finishes and locally sourced materials was also prioritized.
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