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SFO, Terminal 3, Boarding Area E


Shared By

August King

Project Name

SFO, Terminal 3, Boarding Area E

Project Status



105,800 sq. feet

Construction Cost




  • Gary Brandau
  • Chad Hamilton
  • Robin Chiang


  • General Contractor: Todd Temple
  • Construction Manager: John Whitaker

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Project Description


The design of San Francisco International Airport’s renovated Terminal 3 Boarding Area E (T3BAE) delivers a clean, modern and efficient traveler experience. The design features a range of elements that offer travelers a place where they will enjoy spending time.

Building on the success of San Francisco International Airport's Terminal 2, the team set out to transform an outdated section of Terminal 3 built in the 1970s, into a world class terminal. The existing floor plate was expanded to accommodate more gates and provide a spacious array of waiting and concessions spaces, and new perimeter glazing opened up views to the airfield. A new roof allows a sculpted ceiling plane to bring daylight deep into the space, resulting in a light and airy feeling. Now serving over 10,000 United passengers annually, T3 BAE offers travelers many choices for how they would like to enjoy their time in the airport. Passengers can view the exquisite art, change clothes in private dressing rooms, stretch out in the Yoga Room, or let their children unwind in an interactive play area.

Topography inspired both the spatial layout and the textural nature of the space. This design concept was defined as a series of visual and physical destinations – a place to orient, observe, discover and survey the landscape. Concessions dot the landscape, while uninterrupted terminal views give passengers a sense of control over their environment. With tapered edges overhanging clerestory glazing, the roof is structured with lightweight, long-span trusses concealed within a finished architectural ceiling. This approach allowed designers to remove the existing middle two rows of structural columns, creating an open and flexible plan. Increased floor-to-floor height allowed for clerestory placement and a monumentally scaled window at the end of the pier.
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