The Airports of Curtis Fentress

The art of the passenger terminal.

(Paul Dingman)


(Jason A. Knowles / Fentress Architects)

The design of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport honors the region’s economy, heritage, and landscape. Its rolling roofs evoke the hills of the Piedmont, and are supported by wood trusses that speak to the region’s legacy of handcrafted furniture. Trusses of the length required for the terminal had never been used before in an airport. Fentress worked in conjunction with scientists and engineers at North Carolina State University to run extensive strength tests that eventually confirmed the beams’ suitability. Metal struts connected by steel cable finish the effect, recalling the bows of violins while highlighting the balance that exists in the region between tradition and innovation.

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