Terminal 3 Terrazzo & Podiums

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Location: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Size: 10,800 SF
Services: General Contractor
Owner: Broward County Aviation Department
Architect: Singer Architects

Terminal 3 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is being modernized and reconfigured to provide passengers and visitors with a more efficient and pleasant experience airport.  A major component of the renovation is the replacement of carpeting with terrazzo.  The site for the Terrazzo Floor Design Project is the Departures Level of Terminal 3, including Concourses E and F. The artist team has created an original terrazzo floor design that visually aids with the organization of traffic circulation and way finding, and that provides for focal/meeting points.  The floor design is reflective of the region, visually pleasing, and creates a sense of place.

Concept and Design:

This artwork is a meditation on distances traveled and the larger human journey.
 It is inspired by the beauty of South Florida and the writing of John Steinbeck on his 4,000 mile voyage by boat to the Sea of Cortez and Loren Eiseley’s essay “The Star Thrower.”

“[…] it is a strange thing that most of the feeling we call religious, most of the mystical out crying which is one of the most prized and used and desired reactions of our species, is really the understanding and the attempt to say that man is related to the whole thing, related inextricably to all reality, known and unknowable. This is a simple thing to say, but the profound feeling of it made a Jesus, a St. Augustine, a St. Francis, a Roger Bacon, a Charles Darwin, and an Einstein. Each of them in his own tempo and with his own voice discovered and reaffirmed with astonishment the knowledge that all things are one thing and that one thing is all things—plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again.” – John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Terminal 3: Rainbow’s End

The Terminal Three terrazzo floor design reflects the vastness, beauty and complexity of the environments of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and South Florida. The uniqueness of this ecotone is defined by the flow of water, from freshwater to saltwater; by the Everglades biome to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. We have represented this environmental diversity with imagery of the ocean, tide pools, marshes, beaches, everglades, and sky. We have placed three cultural overlays onto this natural imagery, representing technology, history, and the human capacity for mystery. Aeronautics charts and subatomic particle paths define the scientific and topographical spheres for modern flight. Historic maps from the 16th- and 17th-centuries convey a sense of history and discovery, including the great sailing ships of the past.

This project won the Harry H. Mellon National JOC Award in 2014 on the basis of outstanding performance.