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HOK to Help Modernize Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s S Concourse

Project will transform SEA’s main hub for international passengers.

Working in collaboration with the Port of Seattle and AECOM, HOK is the Lead Designer of the modernization of Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) Airport’s S Concourse. The project involves a substantial upgrade to existing structures and building systems, and repurposing space to comply with the latest building codes. This comprehensive modernization will transform the S Concourse and pave the way for exciting enhancements. The building will be redesigned to serve as an inviting international travel gateway, complete with expanded retail, duty-free shops, food & beverage options and premium lounge spaces. Improvements to passenger circulation also are planned. With an estimated completion of construction in 2031, the project is currently in its early stages.

SEA Airport has experienced significant growth over the past two decades and serves as a crucial transpacific and international hub for several airlines. The steady increase in passenger traffic has created the need for improved and updated facilities. As one of only two Skytrax 4-star certified airports on the West Coast and only five in the U.S., SEA is gearing up for future advancements spanning the next 50 years.

Todd Buchanan, HOK’s principal-in-charge on the project, spoke about the firm’s relationship with the airport: “HOK has a longstanding relationship with both the Port of Seattle and SEA Airport,” he said. “We’re honored that they’ve entrusted us with this strategically significant project, and we look forward to exceeding the expectations of the airport and its travelers with a transformed S Concourse.”

“HOK’s design strategy for the project revolves around three guiding principles: the positive effects of daylight, the relaxing quality of openness and the creation of a unique sense of place,” noted Keith Hui, HOK’s regional leader for Aviation + Transportation. “By incorporating these principles, the design will provide an environment that reduces stress and is intuitive to navigate, thus enhancing the overall traveler experience.”

Earlier this year, HOK announced its leadership role in modernizing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s North Main Terminal in partnership with general contractor Hensel Phelps, Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle. Known as the SEA Gateway Project, this initiative will transform a significant part of the terminal to accommodate increasing passenger demand while elevating the travel experience at this Pacific Northwest hub. HOK’s past projects at the airport include the Concourse D Annex project, which opened in 2018.

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