Student Award of Merit: Quebec City International Airport

This project is motivated with a desire to capture the traveler’s imagination at departure and arrival. To this end, two box structures, the Departures Box and the Arrivals Box, limn the traveler’s imaginative responses. The Departures Box is made of a non-structural skin with wood and steel boards that point skywards. Strongly anchored to the ground, the Arrivals Box is made of three-sided HSS and wooden panels. Between both boxes, the autonomy of two distinct journeys is suggested, with powerful HSS column- presence, centrally located.

The combined use of steel and concrete allows a decrease in the sizing of the supporting elements and offers a solution to the problem of fire-resistance in steel. The main column acts as a sequence of short posts, although it stands 18 metres tall. The number of cycles of the spirals determines the length of the post as well as its slenderness. Through the spirals, the weak buckling loads of the central post are reinforced. Energy and materials are saved in combining materials according to their strengths, and it is hoped that standard manufacturing will adjust to these new structural guidelines.

Erickson: This project’s strength lies in its sophisticated presentation and ingenious use of a spiral reinforced column. This is a superb amalgamation of purpose, space and structure that is seldom achieved.

Fisher: This airport design cleverly uses its structure and skin as a symbol of the experience of travel, with a departure terminal whose lightweight, non-structural skin appears about to take off and an arrival terminal whose heavier, structural panels seem rooted to the ground. Between the two stands a waiting room whose steel-truss roof is supported by an inventive update of the Solomonic column: a slender steel post with spiraling steel surrounding it like strands of DNA, providing lateral support. Unfortunately, the airport itself, with its short curbside, doesn’t function quite as well as its structure and skin.

MacDonald: The project description for this entry is compelling, though somewhat overwrought. The architectural expression and representation, however, are unconvincing. The idea of the two boxes was clear in its intent, and if developed with rigour, would have resulted in a very fine project. Issues of structural expression could easily have reinforced the clear written parti.

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