Based on our experience with economical, large-span wood frame buildings such as our Whitewater Brewing Company project, Aside Architects asked if we would be interested in the creating a schematic design concept for a terminal building for Peterborough Airport.
On review of several regional terminals that were designed to host international short-haul flights, we began to see a pattern emerge: Airports seem to require routine renovations to accommodate unanticipated growth. While traffic growth may not be fully anticipated, the probable renovations and space requirements can be. So we set out to determine a linear, scalable plan that could be extended in two directions along the air-side frontage such that mechanical and electrical equipment could easily be extended in either direction.
Airport CEOs also explained that eliminating air-side and ground-side redundancies in service/vendor provisions should be consolidated if at all possible to avoid short-staffing, over-staffing, and/or security issues for personnel and merchandise as passengers move from ground to air and vice-versa. The owner for the project had already hosted several US-bound international charter flights from YPQ based out of an ad-hoc arrangement of parking areas, rented hangars and other facilities to basically operate an ingenious ‘terminal without a terminal’ for these flights. Streamlining the complex sequence of security operations and border services requirements was tightly choreographed in a way that reduced the architectural program to a fluid movement without the benefit or constraints of a terminal building. The goal then of the new terminal design was to take this fluid, seamless process from car seat to aircraft seat and transform it into a building to support the same, ingenious process.
The result is a space that anticipates a new era of ‘white glove’ air-travel from check-in, to baggage drops, to security clearance and hold-room amenities, elevating the often gruelling multi-hour process of departures and arrivals to a sequence that takes less than an hour. While the project is still in the early phases of planning and design, budgets have been set, the contract for the FBO has been let, and we expect great things from regional airports in coming decades all over Ontario.