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Sacramento International Airport Central Terminal B And Airside Concourse

Contrarian Micro Textures

Having been constructed in the 1960s, Sacramento International Airport’s Terminal B had become both outdated and undersized. As a remedy to the facility’s shortcomings, Sacramento County Airport System officials decided to modernize and expand.

Corgan Associates Inc., in association with Fentress Architects, was selected to develop the new facility’s design. The project’s elements included a new Central Terminal B, an Airside Concourse and an Automated People Mover. They were designed to meet the air travel needs of the Northern California region, to accommodate the requirements of the airport, and to reflect the Sacramento strong sense of place.

“We had a truly collaborative relationship and designed the facility as a single team,” said John Trupiano AIA, Vice President, Corgan Associates, serving as Project Manager.

The entrance of Central Terminal B rises above the surroundings and uses a dual-level roadway to separate departing and arriving passengers and traffic. The multi-tiered roof line is intended to remind travelers of the mountains in the distance as the landscape setting reflects Sacramento’s location in California’s Central Valley. Inside the Terminal, three-story-tall glass walls offer unobstructed views to downtown while reinforcing the visual connection to the valley. The building’s architecture intuitively draws passengers into the central circulation spine, where overhead, large clerestory windows and a glass roof allow natural light to stream across large crossing structural members, creating a dynamic rhythm of light and shadow throughout the space reminiscent of the canopy effect of the tree lined streets of Sacramento. Passengers proceed through the Central Terminal to the Automated People Mover which conveys them to the Airside Concourse. The new facility will offer 19 contact gates—six more than there previously were—and increases the collective size of the terminal and concourse to 675,000 sq. ft.

“Exploration of the key aspects contributing to Sacramento’s Sense of Place led to five key descriptors: Outdoors, Rivers, Valley, Trees, and Capital. These were used by the Design Team to develop the possible images of the Terminal and serve as a gauge to evaluate the alternatives. Multiple concepts were developed to explore different aspects for the Sense of Place. The concept selected and under construction was inspired by the Central Valley between two mountain ranges and the canopy effect of the tree lined streets of Sacramento. The play of light and shadow within the facility as well as a strong connection to the outdoors are important aspects of the design. The result complements the Sacramento valley’s sense of place,” Trupiano further explained.

“We are very excited about this transformation that will enable us to accommodate the growing number of passengers and their needs. In addition, we are happy to be providing jobs during these difficult economic times, and proud that we are able to construct Central Terminal B while maintaining all airport operations at their current level,” explained Cheryl Marcell, Deputy Director, Marketing and Public Relations, Sacramento County Airport System.

The Airside Concourse roof is clad in Contrarian Metal Resources’ InvariMatte® stainless steel, which was fabricated by BEMO USA. “Once the architects determined that stainless was the way to go, the collaboration between Corgan, Contrarian, Kodiak Roofing, Turner Construction and us led to the success and handsome appearance of the roofing system,” said Bob Strang, Regional Manager, BEMO USA. “We used 176,000 sq. ft. of InvariMatte®,” he added.

Photographs courtesy of Mark DeFeo Photography

About Contrarian Micro Textures

Rigidized-logoContrarian Micro Textures by Rigidized Metals, formerly Contrarian Metal Resources, is a micro-textured line of high-performance architectural metals including stainless steel and titanium. For more information, visit

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