San Diego International

Art Attack: San Diego Airport Hires Famed Designer for Terminal Makeover

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Officials from the San Diego International Airport announced this week that they hired a lead artist with an international resume to create a facade for the building to be constructed to replace Terminal 1.

James Carpenter and his New York-based design firm have been hired to create "a unique integration of art and architecture," according to a news release sent out Tuesday by the airport, which said the airport authority's board had "indicated at the beginning of the process a vision for art to be more than an afterthought."

Carpenter will be a member of the design-build team, according to the airport, with the team also featuring the Turner-Flatiron and Gensler firms.

"We have been seeking ways to bring the unique qualities of light in San Diego into a signature for the building," Carpenter is quoted as saying in the news release. "Our collaboration with Terrence Young and his team at Gensler has been remarkably productive, and we look forward to continuing our work to capture and emulate the surrounding warmth and beauty found in Southern California."

Carpenter, 71, is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. His firm has many notable projects to its credit, including the facade of Nordstrom's flagship store, in New York; the museum at the Gateway Arch, in Saint Louis; contributions to the Israel Museum, in Jerusalem; the Sky Reflector-Net, at New York's Fulton Center; and the exterior envelope and lobby of Seven World Trade Center, also in New York.

Work on the project is expected to begin next year, with completion targeted for 2026.

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