Seattle Airport’s Concourse C expansion inspired by nature

The Port of Seattle has released renderings for the Concourse C expansion at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which is designed to celebrate the forests and landscapes of the Pacific Northwest and embrace sustainability. The project will add four floors on top of the existing concourse and include 145,530 more square feet of dining and retail, according to a Port press release.

Turner is the general contractor and Miller Hull and Woods Bagot are the architects on the project, which is budgeted at $240 million to $500 million. The Port of Seattle Commission, which owns and operates SEA, has already approved $340 million for the work, but this sum can be increased as the project progresses, according to the release. Jacobs and Parametrix are contributing project management support.

Early work is slated to begin this summer, per the release, with major construction beginning in mid-2023 and project completion expected in 2027.

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Courtesy of Miller Hull


The project is the first to apply the Port’s new Sustainable Project Framework and is being designed according to biophilic principles, according to the release. This includes embodied carbon reduction strategies like fossil fuel-free systems for heating and hot water, dishwashing capabilities for vendors to reduce the need for disposable dishware, low-flow water fixtures and electrochromatic window glazing. 

Rooftop photovoltaics and solar panels will provide up to 15% of the C Concourse expansion’s energy demand, the release said.

Interiors will feature undulating Douglas fir panels across the ceiling and other wood accents, as well as observation decks with expansive views of the Olympic Mountains and the airfield.

“The C Concourse Expansion will bring much-needed light, air, and passenger amenities to one of the busiest crossroads in the terminal,” said Brian Court, lead designer at Miller Hull, in a press release. “The new building was designed to bring back the excitement of flight with soaring interior volumes of space and multiple outdoor observation decks that reconnect us to the magic of travel and the iconic mountain and sound views that define the Pacific Northwest.”

The center of the concourse is designed to evoke Seattle-area markets, according to the release, and will include retail kiosks and stages where local musicians can perform.


SEA CCE 2 The Miller Hull Partnership Woods Bagot

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Courtesy of Miller Hull


In addition to the new concourse, a new $968 million International Arrivals Facility is expected to open at SEA sometime this spring. It includes a 450,000-square-foot grand hall with a baggage claim and customs processing. Also proposed is a renovation for the 40-year-old S Concourse, to add retail and dining space and improve the system that transports bags to the baggage claim. However, the Port has not released a price tag or other major details for that yet.

The environmentally conscious features and airy, nature-inspired spaces of SEA’s new Concourse C reflect modern trends in airport design. The pandemic accelerated the movement to include outdoor and green areas where travelers can retreat, and many airport authorities are attempting to save money and mitigate climate concerns through energy-efficient elements like adaptive glass and electric and solar–powered equipment.

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