Detroit International Metropolitan Airport

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Project Narrative

The project presented is a redesign of the Detroit International Metropolitan Airport (DTW). The design features a separated landside with an underground path connecting to the airside. The international airport is equipped to house 120 planes. When designing the airport, I primarily focused on reinventing the typical traveler experience from rushed and stressful to enjoyable and beautiful.

Within the terminal design there were two major design features that I chose to focus on. The first design feature was incorporating various relief spaces into the interior of the terminal. This will allow those traveling to step away from the typical rushed environment of airport travel. In addition to internal relief spaces, there are external relief spaces incorporated into the interior of the airport. Each relief space is beautifully landscaped to feel as if you teleport out of the airport and into a new world. The external relief spaces have numerous trees to wander through during a traveler’s down time between flights. Internal relief spaces create more private areas for eating, determining a connecting flight's location, or to just step away and enjoy a comfortable travel experience.

The second design feature I chose to focus on was the braiding feature of the terminal roofline. This unique roofline is used to highlight the large and expansive atriums throughout the interior of the terminal. Ample natural light enters the terminal helping to enhance the relief spaces. Aside from the roofline, the braiding design was carried into other features of the project including the interior columns of the landside and airside of the terminal.


Project Details

Submission Category

Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)

Date of Completion

December, 2021

Submitting Firm Name


Project Team