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Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming

With respect to Teton National Park, the renovation and expansion considers the building as a simple, understated foreground feature intended to merely reside within the landscape. The queen-post trusses reduced beam depths, increasing the volume, allowing for an expansive glass curtain wall that reinforces the connection between interior and exterior. This LEED Silver Certified airport distinguishes itself from the aesthetics of typical airports because of its regional design approach, materiality, and intimate scale.

Architect: Gensler
Location: 1250 E Airport Road, Jackson, WY 83001, USA

Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming, baggage claim entrance

Photo: Matthew Millman

The Jackson Hole Airport is the only U.S. airport located inside a National Park. It is the gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks. The project involved the renovation of an existing baggage-claim area, the expansion of the ticketing lobby and hold rooms, and the addition of a new baggage-screening building. The renovation and expansion nearly doubled the size of the airport to about 116,000 square feet.

Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming, landscape and mountains

Photo: Tim Griffith

Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming, baggage claim entrance

Photo: Matthew Millman

To integrate the building into its awe-inspiring surroundings, the concept considered the building as a simple, understated foreground feature within the beautiful landscape. The design addressed an 18-foot height limitation, in place within the National Park since the mid-1900s, through a clear-span queen post truss system that reduced beam depths and increased the volume.

Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming, ticketing entrance

Photo: Matthew Millman

In contrast to the previous terminal, which had minimal connection to the views, a new glass curtain wall was created to establish a strong connection between the interior and the exterior and to flood the ticketing hall with natural daylight. From the exterior, increased transparency also helps orient travelers and provides a more comforting experience.

Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming, check-in area with wooden roof

Photo: Matthew Millman

The airport is defined by its wood structure, which was inspired by the humble expression of structures found in barns and sheds throughout the region. Weathered steel and smooth ground-concrete floors provide contrast to the tactile qualities of the wood structure. Interior architecture and design, branding, and public art were used cohesively to create a lodge-like atmosphere in keeping with the region. While the forms and materials of mountain architecture informed the building’s vocabulary, the design lacks any hint of kitsch or historicism.

Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming, detail of the load-bearing structure

Photo: Matthew Millman

Jackson Hole Airport has received the 2014 AIA Institute Honor Award in Architecture.

Jury Comments

  • Unlike any other airport, the Jackson Hole Airport is warm and comfortable. These qualities, rather than security, drive the design.
  • The project embraces the culture of the area in every way. The rusted steel, wood, and stone are great material choices that produced a regionally-inspired solution.
  • We love the fact that they renovated and expanded the existing structure and added a new façade instead of starting over.
  • Modestly elegant and elegantly modest. In the environment, it has an iconic presence.
Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming, access road

Photo: Tim Griffith

Project data

Associate architect: Carney Logan Burke Architects
Engineer – structural: Martin/Martin
Engineer – civil: Jacobs Carter Burgess
Engineer – electrical and mechanical: Swanson Rink
Landscape design: Hershberger Design
Baggage systems: BNP Associates

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