Charlotte Douglas International Airport Concourse A Expansion Phase 1

Charlotte, North Carolina

The Concourse A Expansion at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) establishes a new architectural identity for the nation’s 10th busiest airport while setting it up to handle a projected increase in traffic. The bright and airy space inspires the imagination of passengers, evoking the spirit of flight through its soaring, double-height ceiling, immersive digital artwork, and aviation-inspired architectural detailing.

Concourse A Expansion at Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Phase one of the project—which is the first of three—adds nine new gates on a constrained site that was formerly a rental car lot, hemmed in by the airport’s main entry drive, a fuel depot, and a jet taxiway. The new concourse connects to the existing terminal by way of a 750-foot secure corridor whose long, cool expanse is animated by an immersive data painting by Los Angeles-based Turkish-American artist Refik Anadol. Titled Interconnected, the artwork represents two layers of motion: the “macro” motion that connects Charlotte Douglas International Airport to the rest of the world, and the “micro” motion of people, baggage, and information within the airport itself.

Wing-shaped aluminum louvers on the exterior of the corridor’s curtain wall provide shading from the morning sun, while at night programmable LEDs integrated within the louvers’ outer edges light up in scintillating displays. The louvers diminish in size as the corridor opens onto the arrivals and departures hall, a two-story space topped by a swooping wing-shaped roof—a new icon for the airport that can be seen by all as they approach the terminal from the main entry drive.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport Concourse A Expansion Phase 1
“One of the exciting things about this design is the gateway opportunity we were presented with because of its location,” states Christopher Garris, design principal with Perkins&Will. “This new space is the first thing people see when they drive into the airport. The new concourse and Terminal A experience creates a new front door to Charlotte Douglas, an ideal public space that welcomes visitors and the Charlotte community into a new era of travel at CLT.”

The concourse provides comfortable spaces for working, dining, shopping, and relaxing, all within close proximity to the gates. This space is enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls outfitted with electrochromic glazing that transitions from tinted to transparent depending on the amount of sun exposure. The dynamic solution cuts down on glare and solar heat gain, improving passenger comfort and reducing the amount of energy needed to cool the facility.

The concourse also introduces passenger amenities that are firsts for Charlotte Douglas, including a mother’s room, a pet relief area, and power outlets in all the seating. The proportions of the spaces are more generous than the airport’s existing concourses, with wider halls, higher ceilings, more glass, and thus better views and daylighting for an improved passenger experience.

Phase II of the project is currently under construction. When it is completed in 2024, it will add 10 more gates to the airport.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport Concourse A Expansion Phase 1

Project Team

Christopher Garris