San Francisco International Airport – International Terminal

San Francisco International Airport – International Terminal
San Francisco International Airport – International Terminal
San Francisco International Airport – International Terminal

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2000
  • Design Finish Year 1995
  • Size Site Area: 1,000,000 square feet Building Height: 144 feet Number of Stories: 5 Building Gross Area: 1,800,000 square feet
  • Awards
    2001, Honor Award, AIA California 2001, Innovative Design and Excellence In Architecture with Steel: First Place, American Institute Of Steel Construction 2002, National Honor Award for Architecture, American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2001, Award for Graphics and Wayfinding Signage, British Council for Offices 2001, Award of Excellence: Landmark Structures, Structural Engineers Association of California 2000, Best of Show: Honor Award, AIA San Francisco 2003, Graphic Design Award, Graphics International 2001, Best of the Bay and Beyond: Interior Architecture, AIA San Francisco 2002, Excellence in Structural Engineering: Award of Merit, Structural Engineers Association Of Illinois 2001, Engineering Award of Excellence: Merit Award, American Institute Of Steel Construction 2002, National Honor Award for Interior Architecture, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Collaborators
    Wilson-Ihrig Ags, Inc. Ajmani And Pamidi, Inc Michael Willis Architects (Joint Venture - Design Partner) Del Campo & Maru (Joint Venture - Design Partner) Ars Kwan/Henmi Gerald Ratto Photography Tsunami Ponder Design The Schatz Consulting Group Ratio Design/Hank Spangler Edgett & Williams Tommy Sui And Associates Breier Neidle Patrone Associates Enersys Solution Llc F.W. Associates Babul Associates Mora Architects Sabre Decision Technologies Dillon Consulting Eng. OLMM Consulting Engineers David K. Low Henry A. Spangler & Assoc. 3D Visions Colleen Architects Salvador Babul Patricia O'Brien Keilani Tom Design Hanscomb Associates, Inc. Entek Engineering, LLC Claude R. Engle Faye Bernstein & Associates
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2000
  • Design Finish Year 1995
  • Size Site Area: 1,000,000 square feet Building Height: 144 feet Number of Stories: 5 Building Gross Area: 1,800,000 square feet
  • Awards
    2001, Honor Award, AIA California 2001, Innovative Design and Excellence In Architecture with Steel: First Place, American Institute Of Steel Construction 2002, National Honor Award for Architecture, American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2001, Award for Graphics and Wayfinding Signage, British Council for Offices 2001, Award of Excellence: Landmark Structures, Structural Engineers Association of California 2000, Best of Show: Honor Award, AIA San Francisco 2003, Graphic Design Award, Graphics International 2001, Best of the Bay and Beyond: Interior Architecture, AIA San Francisco 2002, Excellence in Structural Engineering: Award of Merit, Structural Engineers Association Of Illinois 2001, Engineering Award of Excellence: Merit Award, American Institute Of Steel Construction 2002, National Honor Award for Interior Architecture, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Collaborators
    Wilson-Ihrig Ags, Inc. Ajmani And Pamidi, Inc Michael Willis Architects (Joint Venture - Design Partner) Del Campo & Maru (Joint Venture - Design Partner) Ars Kwan/Henmi Gerald Ratto Photography Tsunami Ponder Design The Schatz Consulting Group Ratio Design/Hank Spangler Edgett & Williams Tommy Sui And Associates Breier Neidle Patrone Associates Enersys Solution Llc F.W. Associates Babul Associates Mora Architects Sabre Decision Technologies Dillon Consulting Eng. OLMM Consulting Engineers David K. Low Henry A. Spangler & Assoc. 3D Visions Colleen Architects Salvador Babul Patricia O'Brien Keilani Tom Design Hanscomb Associates, Inc. Entek Engineering, LLC Claude R. Engle Faye Bernstein & Associates

As the centerpiece of a $2.6 billion expansion at the San Francisco International Airport, this iconic structure created a powerful identity for both the airport and the City of San Francisco. It also represented a watershed moment in the integration of structural and architectural design.

The terminal is topped with a graceful roof whose wing-like form directly expresses the structural diagram of its bending forces. A series of double-cantilevered trusses linked by bowstring trusses support the roof, minimizing the need for load-bearing columns.

Elongated skylights and clerestories bring ample natural light into the building. Open and airy, the main ticketing hall was inspired by the great railway stations of Europe. A natural bamboo grove was planted within the hall, one of the terminal’s many sustainable features.

SOM engineered the building to meet the highest seismic safety requirements ever imposed on an American airport terminal at the time. This strategy incorporated a particularly ambitious use of base isolation technology.