By Martha’s Vineyard standards, the new airport terminal is a significant building – one of the largest on the island, a public gathering place, as well as introduction to the Vineyard for travelers. The approach to an architectural language for the project included study of both the precedents of vernacular buildings, and of aviation structures. The building design references these precedents through a tectonically expressive, functional, and economic architecture. This is best exemplified in the main ticketing lobby: the roof structure of bowstring steel and timber trusses recalling New England mill buildings as well as early aviation tectonics.
The project reinforces continuity with the island’s predominantly informal character by employing simple, natural materials in the building and by grounding the airport campus in a natural environment around a central meadow of indigenous plants and grasses.
Sustainable Design Features
The design leverages the environmental conditions of the site. Natural, passive systems to ventilate, heat and daylight the terminal interiors are foundational ideas of the design. For instance, prevailing summer winds are captured to cool the interior without air conditioning; large south windows are protected by deciduous trees in the summer, but the bare winter limbs allow the low sun to radiantly warm the departure hall slate floors; and shaded, landscaped exterior rooms provide supplemental waiting space for summer peak season travelers.
Passenger and general aviation terminals, administrative offices, restaurant and concessions, outdoor waiting areas, access roadways, automobile parking, airfield improvements and extensive landscaping.
* Deborah Fennick, Principal Architect while with TAMS Architecture
** Jonathan McCredie, Project Manager while with TAMS Architecture