Instructor : Justin Diles
KSA Graduate School

The goal of Diles' studio was to create an airport using form to drive design. The parameters we were given revolved around using replicated families of forms.   3dS Max was used to create quick studies, Rhino was used to create more specific forms and output drawings.  The first half of the semester was dedicated to the form, the second was dedicated to resolving a specific portion of the terminal's interior.


The program was a 30 plane terminal, 120 room hotel, and amenities-- comparable to the JFK Jet Blue Terminal in NY.

 I wanted to investigate the different user groups in an airport.  

While some people are trying to navigate through the space very quickly, others are trying to kill time during lay-overs.  

The two circulation paths resulted in a double skin.  

Ribs would allow a transparent fiberglass cladding to reduce noise.  Lightwells allow light to transfer into the inner shells. 

Functionally the outer shell serves as a means of getting to gates quickly.

The inner shell becomes a more finished environment.

 The spaces can then be tailored to take on a hospitality role and can be visually separated from the strictly transportation environment.


In plan, the inner circles are staggered to create the shortest path along the perimeter of the forms.


One of the first challenges I ran into was height.  While most of the functions are single story, the shell structure relies on curvature to distribute weight.  In addition to this, the height is restricted by the planes' flight paths.  The result is a oval with a bias of the mass shifted to the first floor.

Security was one of the harder aspects of planning, the shape got cinched in to make a bottleneck.  This separated the project into two lobes, a concave arc accepting travelers and a courtyard marking the end of the landside journey.