Behind the Scenes at SFO's New Terminal 2
By Jordan Salinger
April 8, 2011
SPUR Members Got a Sneak Peek of yet-to-be Opened Terminal 2
After lying dormant for a decade, San Francisco International Airport's Terminal 2 will be re-opening this month. Last week, 45 SPUR members had the unique opportunity to tour the final stages of construction on the $383 million renovation project. The 640,000 square foot building has 14 gates and will serve 5.5 million visitors per year. American Airlines, a tenant of the original terminal when it opened in 1954, will be joined by Virgin Airlines in this revamped space. Here are a few highlights that stood out during the tour:


Free wi-fi will be available throughout the terminal.

- Flat-panel screens display arrival/departure information, a "visual paging" system, and informative notes, such as nearby pet-waste facilities and medic stations.

Photo by Noah Christman


-According to project manager Ray Quesada, the space has been designed to create a "club" like atmosphere. Travelers familiar with Virgin America's cabins will immediately recognize the design concept. Note the Arne Jacobsen Egg Chairs.

Photo by Jordan Salinger

- The check-in area was designed to feel like a boutique hotel, with stylish faux-wood paneling and a variety of contemporary furniture.

- Plenty of light, large windows and high ceilings. The ceilings were built as tall as possible without interfering with the sight lines of the control tower. 


Green Features

- The HVAC system is built into the walls, as opposed to the ceiling, to reduce the distance the ventilated air must travel. 

- Significant re-use of materials from the previous structure. 

- T2's sustainability efforts are slated for a LEED Gold rating. 



- Air Over Under by Seattle-based architect Norie Sato: two large pieces on the exterior of the building near the curbside drop-off area.Their surfaces appear pixelated when standing nearby, but bird wing and plane wing images appear from a distance.

Photo by Noah Christman


- Butterfly Wall by San Francisco artist Charles Sowers: A interactive kinetic sculpture operated by hand cranks and electronic motors.


- Every Beating Second by Janet Echelman: a sculpture of twine and braided fibers. While it was not yet installed at the time of our tour, a mechanized air flow system has been designed to add movement to the piece.


- Topograph by Kendall Buster: an elevated sculpture near the check-in counters made of steel tubing and cloth and inspired by topographical maps. 

Photo by Noah Christman

To get your own look at the new terminal, make your way to SFO between 12 and 5 p.m. tomorrow, April 9, for T2's grand opening celebration.


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