Kansas City officials got another look on Thursday at what a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport might look like, although the design is still in the early phase.
Although the two-story fountain featured in the original conceptual design is still absent, the architect from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) assured city councilmembers that they’re working on one, possibly in the retail area.
The first thing that Kansas City residents will see approaching the airport is… the parking garage.
Councilwoman Jolie Justus said she’s not terribly concerned about that.
“Parking garages unfortunately in 2019 and beyond are still a necessary evil. But they’re working, and they are doing a very good job to make sure it’s a very beautiful parking garage,” Justus said.
SOM architect Jordan Pierce says through landscaping and artistic touches, they’ve been hard at work making it appealing.
The garage should appear to “float” above a tree line, and the façade is designed to display a Kansas City International Airport logo and change colors as drivers pass.
Here’s an animated rendering of the airport approach.
The position of the garage also ensures that people who park at the airport are nearly as close to airport check-in and security as they are in the current configuration.
Mayor Sly James said while he’s confident the new terminal will be just as convenient as the existing design for Kansas City travelers, he looks forward to the new one being brighter and more pleasing to be in.
“You know? It won’t feel like a dungeon in places, so yeah, I think it’s going to be convenient and I also think it’s going to be beautiful,” James said.
James and the other councilmembers only got a look at the airport entrance. The look of the bulk of the building has yet to be revealed.
That is because the design is still in the early stages. The aviation department is wrapping up an environmental assessment, and the airlines serving the airport still haven’t coalesced around the price of the terminal or a baggage claim system.
Aviation officials say they have another meeting with the airlines to work out those issues on Monday.
Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3 Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.