Clerestory to add light to concourses


Plans to build a skylight in Concourse A as part of the CHS’s renovation and expansion have taken flight again.

The architectural feature, which is called a clerestory, was removed from the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP) as part of a larger effort to trim costs before construction began. In January, the Charleston County Aviation Authority Board decided to restore the feature.

The decision was two-fold: so that Concourse A, when renovated, would have a similar appearance to Concourse B and because it made sense to do the work now while construction crews are on site.

A clerestory, which is sometimes spelled clearstory, are windows situated above eye level that are intended to add light to the airport. Along with floor to ceiling windows along the front curb and two-story windows overlooking the airfield, the renovated terminal will be awash with natural light.

Clerestories have been around since ancient times, appearing in Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Gothic architecture over the centuries. In transportation, clerestories were used in railway carriages and double decker buses for lighting as well as fresh air.

“Originally, the word clerestory referred to the upper level of a church or cathedral. The Middle English word clerestorie means ‘clear story,’ which describes how an entire story of height was cleared to illuminate large interiors,” according to architecture expert Jackie Craven. The architectural feature is often found in churches.

Renovations on Concourse A are slated to begin in late spring. Because the clerestory was added back to the project, work will be completed on Concourse A in January 2016. The remainder of the airport terminal is scheduled to be complete in November 2015.

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