DIA Re-Envisioned. Again.

January 2012

A few months ago when famous architect Santiago Calatrava backed out of the DIA South Terminal Redevelopment Project under the weight of a $150 million budget shortfall, we wondered how much of his vision would stick around in his successor’s plans. Last week, we got our answer when the airport unveiled the revised concept (pictured above from the south perspective).

According to a DIA spokesperson, the new team—headed up by Gensler Architects and AndersonMasonDale Architects—will execute a design “very similar” to Calatrava’s original blueprint. The plans still include a 500-room Westin hotel and convention center, an RTD FasTracks station (hooray!), and an open-air plaza with new concessions. The main departures from Calatrava’s specifics come from the reduced size—less square footage, and one less floor in the Westin—and the smaller amount of construction material necessary.

The new efficiency-focused team has also nixed certain “signature elements” from Calatrava’s vision, such as the white aesthetics of the train station, which have been replaced with glass and steel. But the airport maintains that the timetable is intact for RTD to take over the train station in 2014 and for the hotel to open the following year. The project is also expected to produce $2 million in annual tax revenue for Denver and create 1,000 jobs.  All this within the reduced budget of $500 million that sent Calatrava packing. But with all the turmoil under the tents lately, we’re not sure if we should hold our breath or not.

Rendering provided courtesy of Denver International Airport.