Lowcountry history inspires re-design


Many of the key design features of the new CHSdraw from local history and architecture as well as the colors of the Lowcountry marshes and waterways.

Passengers will see hints ofthe Charleston Single House – so named because it is a single room wide on the street side– and the lush gardens just off the piazzas (that’s porches for you folks from ‘off’). Coupled with the natural light from 16-foot-high windows both on the front curb and on the airfield side of the terminal, the materials and colors borrowed from the palette of the Lowcountry will welcome passengers to Charleston and will remind those leaving of the great visit they had.

The Ticket Hall is a prime example of many of the features. It ishome toceiling panels intended to mimic the “haint” blue ceilings often found on the porch ceilings of a Charleston Single House. Dating to the 1800s and the Gullah culture of African slaves, it is believed that blue porch ceilings would draw evil spirits away from the home and into the sky. The trellis work hanging over the ticket counters is reminiscent of those used in Charleston’s Historic District gardens to create intimate charm and elegance outdoors. They are painted Charleston Green, a classic Southern paint color that is so deep it is often mistaken as the color black.

In the last of this three-part series about designing the new CHS, Thomas P. Theobald, a principal with Fentress Architects, tells us how the design and passenger experience go hand in hand.

What features will stand out to passengers?

The 25-foot-high Central Hall will be a spectacular area with views out to the airfield. Its 32-foot in diameter domed roof will illuminate the area with natural light. The Central Hall and the entire post-security area will have all new retail, giving passengers the freedom to relax, shop and enjoy their trip with some indulgences.

How will the design of the airport improve the passenger experience?

We focused on improving the entire passenger experience from curbside to airside. When the modernized terminal is finished, passengers will definitely notice a decrease in wait times and crowding. We began our design by trying to capture the essence of Charleston, which necessitated bringing natural light and soft colors into the building. Everything is new, from the restrooms, seating areas, and retail, to a consolidated security check, baggage handling system, and an airside rental car facility. These changes will make traveling though Charleston an even more pleasant experience.

Past posts:

Creating a Charleston feel in the new airport
Rebuilding an airport while remaining in business

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