Beneath a great roof, airplanes and travelers will gather: an airport for the city of Washington D.C.

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This thesis investigates the design of a new airport for the city of Washington D.C. The design explores the idea of an airport as a harbor and a gateway into the city. An airport as a place for the meeting of aircraft and traveler; a place for both person and machine.

The dominant element of the airport is the roof of the main terminal. The main terminal is divided along its length with a series of tall concrete masts. From the masts, hollow concrete box beams are hung from a web of four hundred steel cables. The concrete box beam is formed by thirty foot long sections spanning from cable to cable. The beam is made of ten sections that cantilever three hundred feet out each side from the line of masts. The roof is formed by these two cantilevers, and it is beneath this roof that the airplanes and the travelers gather.

This thesis involves the grand scale. The size of elements like runways and aircraft require large and at times overwhelming designs; yet, care will be taken to accommodate the person, the traveler.