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Skytrax Recognizes Fentress-Designed Airports Among Best

As one of the world’s largest day-lit structures, Fentress’ design for Denver International Airport’s roof evokes the Rocky Mountains and incorporates sustainable strategies and natural light.

Four airports designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects have earned accolades from Skytrax, an international air transport rating agency.

For the second consecutive year, Denver International Airport was voted by passengers as the Best Regional Airport in North America and the top-ranked airport in the United States. Completed in 1995, Frentress’ design for DIA’s passenger terminal complex features one of the world’s largest structurally integrated tensile membrane roofs with peaks rising 130 to 150 feet in a nod to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

South curtainwall inside DIA’s Jeppesen Terminal

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, completed in 2012, was voted as the third Best Regional Airport in North America. The central terminal’s design enriches the visitor experience with architectural elements inspired by Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Also on the list is North Carolina's Raleigh-Durham International Airport, completed in 2011. Terminal 2 is the world’s first major airport with a lenticular wood truss structure supporting the roof.

The Fentress-designed Incheon International Airport in South Korea landed in the top three for Skytrax’s World’s Best Airport list and was voted the World’s Best Transit Airport. Incheon’s design was inspired by Seoul’s four historic gates — the original entrances to the 2,000-year-old walled capital city.

The long-span lenticular wooden trusses at Raleigh-Durham International Airport — weighing 34 tons each and spanning 156 feet in the ticketing and checkpoint areas — comprise glue-laminated timbers and structural steel cables connected with custom-fabricated steel supports at the ends and a king-post at midspan to form an arch.

“With global commerce and the demand for air travel increasing, airports of the future must place quality, comfort and the passenger experience at the forefront of the design,” said Curt Fentress, Fentress principal in charge of design.