Monday, August 02, 2010

the tent and the whale's smile

apologies for such a lag on the draw, but here is calatrava's proposal for adding a south terminal at denver international airport, including rail station/overpass bridge and 500-room hotel.

from the denver post:

video animation of new DIA south terminal [calatrava architects]

Day said the south terminal project includes at least 100,000 square feet of retail and other concession space that — along with the hotel — will generate revenue and help offset the cost of the project.

Calatrava's design calls for the hotel-train station-plaza complex to dominate the view of the terminal from the south, but those traveling to DIA will retain a view of the terminal tent through a low, saddle-like space between the hotel's twin towers.

The south terminal project also includes a commuter-rail bridge over Peña Boulevard just east of the E-470 interchange that will accommodate the $1.2 billion East Corridor train from Union Station to the airport. Train service is expected to start in 2016.

rendering of interior at new south terminal & rail stop [calatrava architects]

And of course the money has yet to be thrown down:

DIA still must determine if it can afford the Calatrava-designed commuter-rail bridge.

The airport has proposed "enhancing" RTD's design for the bridge and paying the difference between the "base price" the Regional Transportation District will budget for the bridge and what it would cost to build it according to Calatrava's design.

RTD recently selected a consortium of private companies to build the East Corridor train under a public-private partnership.

On Aug. 12, RTD and the firms will be able to identify the amount of money they have for the rail bridge after they complete financial terms of the public-private partnership, said RTD spokeswoman Pauletta Tonilas.

DIA will have until Jan. 31 to decide whether it can afford to pay the difference between the base price for the bridge and the amount needed to realize Calatrava's design, said Day, DIA's manager. When an early Calatrava design came in around $60 million, airport officials said they could not afford that price.

a glowing, but still somewhat deprecating write up from the Post's Architecture critic:

This bird has beaks too. On both its north and south side, large curved roofs cant outward to create giant covered plazas between the two buildings.

While the main terminal — with its iconic, pointy tents — pushes downward, the expansion appears to lift off like a gravity-defying jumbo jet. It is very much in the space-age school of Eero Saarinen, designer of the landmark TWA terminal at JFK and St. Louis' Gateway Arch, except that like all of Calatrava's designs, it is lighter and brighter, an awing combo of engineering and fine details.

Is it a bit too obvious for an airport building to reference both birds and planes? Perhaps. Architects have made it routine. Still, Calatrava's design feels new, and aside from its overwhelming size, it is a kind neighbor to Denver architect Curt Fentress' 1995 terminal.

now do you see what I mean by "whale's smile"? imagine a giant humpback whale skimming for plankton...

I'm not sure what is going to be the first thing to hit the chopping block: the over-emphasized rail bridge or the 500 room hotel?

the article mentions calatrava's sensitivity to the original tent structure, but the above rendering seems to tell a different story...

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