CHALLENGE Logan International Airport in Boston currently ranks 20th in the nation in passenger volume, according to its website, and in the mid-1990s it initiated a modernization project, mainly to improve roadways and terminals. To that end, the airport and Delta Air Lines wanted to create “a terminal to take them into the future” that would be a sustainable and progressive architectural space, says David Ziolkowski, lighting designer on the Logan Terminal A project and associate at St. Louis-based HOK Lighting Group. The project involved collaboration between several HOK offices, each of which focused on a particular design aspect. When Ziolkowski and his team began conceptualizing the terminal in 2001, security was not a design priority—until the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “The fact that this project was after 9/11, I think it kind of woke everyone up on the project team,” Ziolkowski says.

The overall lighting scheme focused on details from security to maintenance concerns to energy efficiency and sustainability to, perhaps first and foremost, accentuating the architecture. With approximately 646,000 square feet of space, Ziolkowski says one of the greatest challenges was illuminating the terminal areas to focus on the architectural design rather than the lighting and individual fixtures (see image gallery).

ARCHITECTURAL AND LIGHTING SOLUTION The center of the terminal building—what Ziolkowski calls “the heart of the space”—has a 28-foot-tall ceiling, which resulted in the careful placement of luminaires to appease maintenance personnel who regularly replace lamps. With this in mind, downlights were not placed over the escalators, which lead to an underground tunnel that connects the two main parts of the terminal. But the space still required illumination. “We had a lot of fixtures that were uplights that had to be screened so when [people are] going down the escalator [they are] not blinded by these lights,” says Kent Turner, project manager and senior principal at HOK's New York office, which oversaw the project interiors.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system was gaining momentum at the time of the project. “We wanted to take advantage of minimizing the expense that the lighting had on the building,” Ziolkowski says. Logan's Terminal A is the first air terminal in the country to earn LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Turner explains that HOK was required by the Massachusetts Port Authority to design the building based on LEED guidelines “as best we could,” an approach not unfamiliar to HOK, which in 2000 released The HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design.

One location where this LEED-minded approach to lighting is evident is the ticketing area. Here, a 28-foot-tall curtain wall runs floor to ceiling, although in places it extends down to the baggage claim area, measuring about 40 feet. The curtain wall and skylights above the ticket counters help maximize daylight. As Ziolkowski points out, the ceiling above the counters “could have just continued into the wall without [the architects] trying to bring in additional daylight” by incorporating the skylights.

In terms of electric sources, pendant-mounted fixtures using two 32W T8 lamps are installed in the waiting areas and custom half-wedge luminaires, also using 32W T8 lamps, are in the circulation corridors. However, “everything else is in concealed coves…to create an asymmetric distribution of products throughout the space,” Ziolkowski says. “We introduced...tricks to incorporate lighting systems that would be used to accentuate the architecture.”

The lighting in Terminal A at Logan Airport offers a comfortable atmosphere while meeting security concerns and LEED guidelines. The result is a successful blend of lighting strategies incorporating both daylight and electric sources, which support the creation of a cohesive architectural space.


PROJECT | Delta Air Lines Terminal A at Logan International Airport, Boston
ARCHITECTS | HOK Inc., New York and San Francisco
LIGHTING DESIGNER | HOK Lighting Group, St. Louis
PHOTOGRAPHER | Assassi Productions, Santa Barbara, California
PROJECT SIZE | 646,000 square feet
MANUFACTURERS | Bega, Gotham, Hydrel, Kurt Versen, LiteControl, Lithonia, Peerless, PMC, QL, WEEF, Winona

AL071101074L2.jpg Daylighting is an integral element in the building, while the electric light is designed to accentuate the interior and exterior architecture. Escalators connect the two main parts of Logan International Airport's Terminal A. Passenger hold rooms maximize natural light and do not have many visible luminaires.