HOK’s Leesa Coller on Selecting the Best Airport Seating Systems
The HOK senior project designer is quoted extensively in a Passenger Terminal World article exploring what airports and their architects should look for when specifying new seating.
“Getting airport seating right is crucial to the passenger experience,” notes the author. “Durability, aesthetics and the correct number of seats are just some of the considerations an airport and its architects must consider when searching for the perfect fit. The latest innovations in materials and design are also influencing both the type and location of seats that airports are choosing to install.”
“For the best passenger experience, every airport should have many options,” says Leesa Coller, senior project designer in HOK’s Aviation + Transportation group. “Business benching, tandem seats, lounge seats, bar height stools, children’s furniture and so on. We look for durable, high-quality material with solid connections.”
“Many airports are realizing that, if located correctly, concessions spaces can accommodate much of the seating required for waiting passengers,” adds Coller. Yet she notes that circulation space can’t be sacrificed due to existing requirements and general movement. “Airlines also usually require at least half of their standard aircraft load factor to be accommodated within the gate lounge area.”
The demand for power outlets must be considered as part of the decision how to position seating. “With the digital age we are living in, airports must prioritize providing power sockets in all gate lounges, restaurants, food courts and club lounges,” says Coller.
Coller also explained that seat life expectancy is important. “If the seating has upholstery of any kind, it will wear first. It is critical to get this right. We would recommend going with the manufacturer-tested upholstery products and mockups are a must—they enable the client and maintenance team to experience the space and weigh in on what will work for them.”