Recycling at its Finest - Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Recycling at its Finest - Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
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When Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) was in the design phase of modernizing Terminal 3, architects couldn’t bear the thought of a wrecking ball crashing through the stained glass in the ceiling above the main escalators. So they integrated the stunning feature into plans for the new building. 

Instead of simply moving the artwork as a whole, DWL Architects changed its orientation from horizontal to vertical and reconfigured most of the 1,400-square-foot structure into a corner wall that provides a creative wayfinding element on the north arrivals curb. Designers did, however, maintain the same symmetrical composition of the original work created by Scottsdale artist Ken Toney back in 1979. And before anything was changed, the airport consulted Toney. After his work was unveiled in its new iteration, the aging artist said it was rewarding to know that his children and grandchildren could enjoy it for years to come. 

The relocated work is backlit to showcase its intricate detail, and PHX added a guard rail to keep people (especially children) a safe distance from the glass edges that Toney chipped and faceted to increase light refraction.

“I was very happy to see it repurposed,” remarks Gary Martelli, manager and curator of the Phoenix Airport Museum. “It really fits well with the terminal’s new aesthetic.”

The use of dalle de verre (thick slab glass) and a strong metal matrix likely helped the artwork enjoy a second life rather than tragically ending up as construction waste. “It’s more durable and substantial than standard stained glass, so it was able to withstand the move,” Martelli explains.

Like many of PHX’s other 1,000+ permanent pieces, the stained-glass wall is displayed before the security checkpoint. “We actually get a lot of people who come to the airport just for the art,” Martelli notes. Museum personnel assist community outreach staff during general airport tours, and online maps provide detailed itineraries for self-guided tours that focus exclusively on artwork. Compendiums include viewing tips such as hints for finding hidden messages in the terrazzo floors and explanations of the symbolism in various sculptures, murals and other exhibits.

Now in its 35th year, Phoenix Airport Museum is one of the oldest and most extensive in the industry.


2022 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Report of Achievement

Giving back to the community is central to what Charlotte Douglas International Airport and its operator, the City of Charlotte Aviation Department, is about, and last year was no different. 

Throughout 2022, while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued our efforts to have a positive impact on the Charlotte community. Of particular note, we spent the year sharing stories of how Connections Don't Just Happen at the Terminal - from creating homeownership and employment opportunities to supporting economic growth through small-business development and offering outreach programs to help residents understand the Airport better.

This whitepaper highlights the construction projects, initiatives, programs and events that validate Charlotte Douglas as a premier airport.

Download the whitepaper: 2022 Charlotte Douglas International Airport Report of Achievement.



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