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We create exceptional environments that meet our clients' most complex design challenges.

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We care about serving our clients, enriching lives, improving communities and protecting our natural environment through design.

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60+ Years of Design + Innovation

A Next-Generation Airport for Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City International Airport Passenger Terminal
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

“It’s a very flexible and efficient design. If we need more space after the initial phase of construction, you can add capacity as far as the eye can see, virtually without any disruption at all.”

Bill Wyatt
Salt Lake City Airport Executive Director

This project is creating one of the world’s premier airports with an inspirational design that celebrates the region and provides an immediate sense of place.

Salt Lake City International Airport serves nearly 23 million passengers per year in facilities designed a half century ago to accommodate half as many travelers. The new terminal will enable the airport to support the needs of its guests and airlines as efficiently as possible while establishing a new benchmark for environmentally responsible aviation hubs.

The project began with the planning and design of a 48-gate central terminal. This first phase, which includes a parking garage and the west portion of the South Concourse, will open in 2020. The airport later decided to also develop the North Concourse, which added 30 gates to the 2.6 million-sq.-ft. project. All 78 of the airport’s new gates will open by 2024.

The new three-story terminal and concourses will replace a total of 29 outdated structures, including three separate terminals and five concourses. The highly efficient terminal building is being constructed west of the existing complex. The “future-proof” design provides flexibility that will enable specific areas to be easily modified and reconfigured as the needs of the airport and airlines change over time. 

HOK’s design celebrates Utah’s natural beauty and reputation as an outdoor recreation hub. The airport is nestled between the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges and the Great Salt Lake. Floor-to-ceiling glass provides expansive views to the airfield and iconic mountains and provides an uplifting, cheerful ambiance. Glass and earth-toned interior and exterior finishes connect passengers to the landscape.

At the building’s heart is a soaring interior space called “the Canyon,” which spans both sides of the new terminal, is as long as a football field and houses security screening areas, shopping and dining facilities. This open space is a visual anchor that organizes the terminal. A large-scale sculpture by award-winning artist Gordon Huether defines the Canyon walls and reflects natural Utah elements such as red rock canyons, alpine peaks, moving water and cottony white clouds.

As master architect/engineer, HOK’s multidisciplinary planning and design team created solutions for creating appropriately sized facilities, providing highly efficient and cost effective operations, improving customer service, accommodating growth and optimizing energy efficiency. Because the airport is near the Wasatch Fault, our integrated architectural and engineering design team has designed all the new buildings to meet rigorous earthquake safety standards.

With a target of LEED Gold certification, sustainable design strategies minimize the airport’s environmental footprint. High-performance glazing systems draw in daylight while preventing heat gain. Energy-efficient mechanical and lighting systems provide additional savings. The efficient configuration of the terminal and gate locations reduces fuel use and aircraft emissions.

In collaboration with the airport and airlines, HOK’s team developed a construction phasing strategy that will incrementally add new facilities and decommission the old ones while minimizing disruption to the airport’s day-to-day operations. The complex phasing plan involved temporary renovation of existing facilities along with integration of new structures. 


LEED Gold anticipated


2.6 million sq. ft. / 241,550 sq. m. 
78 gates


Interior Design
IT + Security
Landscape Architecture
Lighting Design
Master Planning
   Fire Protection Engineering
Structural Engineering
Sustainable Consulting


7 March 2018
“Salt Lake City Makes its Mark on the Global Architecture Map”

2 January 2018
“A Modern Airport in Salt Lake City to Link the Mountains and the Coasts”
New York Times

30 March 2016
“Salt Lake City Airport Finishes First Phase of Expansion Work”
The Salt Lake Tribune

1 January 2016
“First Impressions”
Passenger Terminal World