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Employee News

$27M Redevelopment Plan ‘On Time’ at Scottsdale Airport

“This project will be solidifying our ranking as one of the top airports in the county. I’m not sure of any aviation airport similar to us that is undertaking such a large task, and then working with our business partners,” said Scottsdale Airport aviation director Gary Mascaro.

Read Full Article.  Article by Construction Equipment Guide

To learn more about this project, visit this link: Scottsdale Airport Terminal Area Redevelopment

Phoenix Sky Harbor Wins Airport Innovation Award

Check out this release from Phoenix Sky Harbor, acknowledging the airport’s achievement in winning the second annual Airport Innovation Award for its creative work to improve the passenger experience and deploy cutting edge technologies.

“Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is honored to receive this prestigious award,” Director of Aviation Services Jim Bennett Bennett said. “Our goal is to deliver world-class customer service to every customer every day, and I’m proud that our team creates innovative solutions and initiatives to accomplish that goal.”



Yuma’s New Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex Opens September 1st


Yuma’s Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex, an elite tournament destination, is opening its doors this weekend. Kicking off the grand opening and an exciting time for the City of Yuma, is the PAAC’s first tournament.

Rested on a 50-acre site, the complex consists of six 325 foot, lighted softball fields for league and tournament play, an irrigation storage lake, concessions building, state-of-the-art PA system and digital scoreboards, an outdoor cafe, meeting/umpire room, a playground and more spectator amenities. The project rests on the northwest corner of Pacific Avenue and 8th Street, adjacent to the Bureau of Reclamation levee and canal, in the vicinity of Yuma’s historic downtown area.

The PAAC site is unique in the sense that it pays tribute to its past and is returning to a point of convergence for the community. The new PAAC establishes the site as a gathering point of diverse groups with the same interests, similar to what happened many years ago in the City of Yuma. Historically, Yuma served as point in the American Southwest, where people once traveled from more than 1,000 miles away in all directions to cross the Colorado River. Now, a new place of pride for the citizens of Yuma, the PAAC design is heavily influenced by this theme of convergence through visual quality of the athletic complex, various hardscape patterns, shading structures and seating areas with the focal point being the main concessions building.

The PAAC now offers a brand new experience the City of Yuma didn’t have before, offering opportunities for locals and visitors, alike, to come play, eat, practice and spectate. It also serves as a multi-purpose open space to host community events including festivals and concerts, and ultimately, provides a new point of pride for the City of Yuma.

To check out the construction progress over the past several months, check out this video!

Master Plan




DWL Projects Proudly Take Home Two Awards of Merit

Two of DWL’s projects were honored with the Award of Merit in separate categories for Engineering News Record’s Best Projects in the Southwest.

Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine Equine and Bovine Center has won the 2017 Best Projects Merit Award in the Higher Education/Research category and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Terminal 3 – Terminal Processor was honored with the same Merit Award in the Airport/Transit category.

The annual awards program is dedicated to honoring the best construction projects and companies in the U.S. and Puerto Rico with the Southwest region consisting of Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. Among the 20 categories, ranging from airports to sports and entertainment venues, each project is judged using five criteria: safety; overcoming challenges and teamwork; innovation and contribution to the industry; construction quality and craftsmanship; and functionality of design and aesthetic quality.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport – Terminal 3 Terminal Processor: Uniquely located in the heart of Phoenix, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is undergoing a major transformation with the Terminal 3 Modernization Program. To remain operational through construction and have as little impact to airport personnel and travelers as possible, the program was broken into multiple construction phases with the first phase of the Terminal Processor, now open to the public. Phase I included four main components: a new consolidated checkpoint, additional ticket counters, new baggage claim devices, and exterior and interior finishes. Phase I of the Terminal Modernization Program provides the City of Phoenix the opportunity to better serve the aviation community and set the standard for passenger experience.

Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine – Equine and Bovine Center: the 70,000 s.f. Equine and Bovine Center (EBC) is a teaching, research, and diagnostic facility at the Midwestern University Glendale campus as part of the new College of Veterinary Medicine. It is a community resource designed for larger animals, including but not limited to horses, cows and other large ruminants and is the first of its kind in the state. The overall layout of the College of Veterinary Medicine complex is based on Midwestern University’s ONE HEALTH initiative where human and animal research work in sync for mutual benefit. Cross-disciplinary interaction was a driving factor for this project, and to achieve that, the design team incorporated spaces for innovative teaching.

PHX Terminal 3 – Terminal Processor: Views to Security Screening Checkpoint

PHX Terminal 3 – Terminal Processor: Passenger Level

Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine – Equine & Bovine Center

Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine – Equine & Bovine Center: Necropsy Suite

August 1, 2017 0 Comments

2017 Phoenix Canstruction

DWL Architects + Planners, Schaefer Engineering and Sundt Construction teamed up to raise awareness of local hunger for the 2017 Phoenix Canstruction event.

A symbol familiar to the locals, here in Valley of the Sun, is the Phoenix; also the structure we chose to symbolize our team’s efforts this year. With the help of our sponsors, we were able to contribute more than 7,000 cans to St. Mary’s, and support their mission in helping individuals and families rise again. The story of a Phoenix rising from its own ashes is well-known, but the majestic bird is also strongly associated renewal.  This empowering sense of renewal embodies our sculpture; symbolizing the renewal our community, the renewal of our commitment to volunteer and serve, and the renewal of our sense of hope for a brighter tomorrow.  Most of all, we believe that Canstruction as a whole can renew peoples’ commitment to ending hunger.  We hope the majesty of the Phoenix, both the bird and the city, can inspire others towards ever greater heights.

Vote for our structure by clicking on this link and “Liking” our structure on the Phoenix Canstruction Facebook page. [Voting is now closed].

In addition, feel free to check out our structure at the Phoenix Convention Center – West Building (between 2nd and 3rd Street) any time before August 11, 2017.

A special thanks to our generous sponsors who were integral in helping our team exceed our fundraising goal this year and rise up against hunger!
  • Gold Sponsors: E&K of Phoenix, Chanen Construction and Sundt Construction
  • Silver Sponsors: Dow Diversified, Inc., Bell Steel, 115 Degrees West, Schaefer, LSW Engineers, JFK Electric
  • Friend Sponsors: Advanced Structural Engineers (ASE-KPFF), Century Sign Builders, Doris Baker, Gannett Fleming, TRACE Consulting, RepublicBankAZ, Robert Trimble, Joseph Knapp


Airport Redevelopment Project will Upgrade and Enhance Area; Ceremonial Groundbreaking July 12

Scottsdale Airport will host a ceremonial groundbreaking to officially mark the launch of the terminal area redevelopment project. It takes place at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, at the terminal building, 15000 N. Airport Drive. This project will upgrade and enhance this area with some of the largest hangars at the airport and maximize use of the parcel’s building footprint to offer a new “place” in Scottsdale. A place where residents and visitors can experience the airport for more than just travel.

Located on the west side of the airport, the new Aviation Business Center will include a public plaza, restaurant, event venue, airport administration offices, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office, as well as other top offices and two executive hangars. Other roadway, parking and aesthetic improvements are also included in the redevelopment. All businesses in and around the airport will remain open during construction. The airport administration offices will relocate to the Operations Center, located just north of this site at 15255 N. Airport Drive, during the interim.

The most recent update to the Airport’s Master Plan, completed by Coffman Associates, cited the need for more executive hangar space to accommodate growth in aviation activity. This was the point of departure for this project. Douglas Davies, partner of D.M.D Real Estate Group, partnered with the city to validate the need for more hangar space.

“Our market analysis showed the timing was ideal for this type of project,” says Douglas Davies.

“Scottsdale Airport’s property is too valuable not to utilize it efficiently and wisely,” says Gary P. Mascaro, aviation director. “The demand for more hangar space continues to grow. When key partnerships were formed, the project was no longer a ‘pie in the sky’.” Those partnerships are with Gemini Air Group, Inc., Volanti (formerly Zulu Caffé) and D.M.D Real Estate Group.

The $27 million price tag will be financed through city-issued bonds. Revenue from the lease agreements and ancillary business permit fees will cover the debt payments over the next 20 years.

When completed, the Aviation Business Center will embrace its location offering outstanding views of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Mountains and aircraft. The new restaurant, Volanti, will be located on the second floor with an expanded menu and hours, and it will manage the event venue.

The hangars at 30,000 square feet each will offer direct runway access, 28-foot doors and a private fuel facility onsite. Gemini Air Group, Inc., an aircraft charter and maintenance company, will lease and operate the hangar facilities. The hangars are slated for completion in spring 2018.

As part of this project, the city will build a veterans’ memorial shade plaza. A Pre-World War II Stearman plane, similar to those that flew during Scottsdale Airport’s origins as a WWII flight training facility, will be the centerpiece.

“DWL Architects is proud to be part of such a transformational project in the city of Scottsdale,” says Michael C. Braun, executive vice president. “As a long-term partner to the city, we are looking forward to creating a more welcoming destination for airport users, as well as residents and visitors.”

Mead & Hunt is the engineering firm. JE Dunn is under contract to construct the building.

The design supports sustainability and the city will pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.


About DWL Architects + Planners, Inc.
Founded in 1949, DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. has established itself as a local leader in aviation design. Playing the leading role in the development of several aviation projects across the state, DWL Architects’ aviation team focuses on terminal expansions, renovations, concourses, concessions, checkpoints and more. Because of this experience, DWL Architects’ work has been consistently recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Among the most dynamic and respected locally owned architecture firms in the state of Arizona, DWL Architects has a legacy of creating people places. With nearly 45 professionals, we bring expertise from a range of industries like aviation, hospitality, public infrastructure, healthcare and higher education. DWL Architects believes in connecting design to its environment.

About Scottsdale Airport
Scottsdale Airport had about 164,000 operations (landings and departures) in 2016 and is one of the nation’s premier corporate jet facilities. Aviation activity at the airport and in the airpark created $536 million total economic benefits for the region in FY 2014/15. For more information on the construction project, event or Scottsdale Airport visit or call 480-312-8482.


A Celebration to Kick-Off Construction of the 50th St/Washington Light Rail Station

June 7, 2017
Press Release by Valley Metro Light Rail

Construction Begins on the First Light Rail Project for Phoenix Transportation 2050 

Phoenix – Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton hosted a community celebration on the rooftop of Ability360 to mark the start of construction on the 50th St/Washington Station. It is the first Valley Metro infill station and the first capital project under Transportation 2050 (T2050), approved by Phoenix voters in 2015.

“Construction begins tomorrow and when the station opens in 2019, it will serve not only the many users of Ability360, but also neighboring businesses like Stockyards Restaurant, USPS and many others,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “It serves a unique community and as such, was part of the PHX Innovation Games to create concepts that would best serve the users of this station.”

Station designer, Gannett Fleming, worked with the Innovation Games winner Dig Studio, station artist Barbara Grygutis, and the construction contractor Stacy and Witbeck, to make the station a model of accessibility. Features include a wider platform to accommodate mobility devices, as well as enhanced shading and lighting.  

Pictured: Front row, left to right – CTC member and Ability360 President & CEO Phil Pangrazio, owner of Stockyards Restaurant and Jokake Real Estate Services Gary Smith, Ability360 employee Jennifer Longdon.

Back row, left to right – CTC member Gail Knight, Phoenix Councilmember Kate Gallego, Sandra Ferniza, Director of Constituent Services for the Office of Congressman Ruben Gallego, Phoenix Deputy City Manager Mario Paniagua, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Phoenix Councilmember and Valley Metro Board Chair Thelda Williams, and Ideation Design Group Principal Carl Schaffer.



Checkpoint Opening Marks Milestone in Tucson International Airport Transformation

April 10, 2017


Checkpoint Opening Marks Milestone in Tucson International Airport Transformation  

TUCSON – A redesigned security checkpoint at Tucson International Airport (TUS) opens April 18, as the first project completed as part of the airport’s Terminal Optimization Program to improve passengers’ travel experience.

The new Transportation Security Administration checkpoint serves the airport’s B Concourse, which is used by Alaska, American and Delta airlines.

The Terminal Optimization Program is the largest of several construction projects encompassed under the airport’s ‘A Brighter TUS’ improvements. To achieve their goal, the design and construction team opened up a once dark portion of the terminal with glass facades that allow for optimal daylight and grand views to the airfield as passengers advance through the security checkpoint. By opening up the terminal, the design embraces the unique location in Tucson, connecting passengers to the outdoors with views to distant vistas and integrating an Arizona color palette.

Focused on recapturing under-used space and modernizing terminal finishes, the checkpoint for the B Concourse has been relocated to the far west end of the terminal with an expanded configuration for the TSA’s security equipment. A “recomposure” area gives passengers space to gather their belongings after passing through security. Other improvements include a business center, colored terrazzo flooring for intuitive wayfinding and major infrastructure upgrades. Supporting the mission to provide a new face for TUS and the community of Tucson, these infrastructure and aesthetic upgrades position the airport for success for years to come.

“We’re extremely excited about the new checkpoint opening. The improved queuing, expanded lanes, brighter views and added recomposure area are something that will elevate the passenger experience. The opening of this checkpoint brings us one step closer in completing our terminal optimization project, and this is just the beginning of a year that will truly bring ‘A Brighter TUS’ to customers,” Tucson Airport Authority President and CEO Bonnie Allin said. “From the desert themed colors to the natural light brought in from the windows overlooking the Santa Rita mountain range, our passengers will truly feel like they’re in Tucson during the process of departing Tucson International Airport.” 

“As aviation architects, we understand the business of aviation is evolving, including the check-in and security checkpoint processes. With this project, we focused on transforming the checkpoint into an integral component of the terminal with an open design for increased visibility and intuitive passenger flow,” said Sandra Kukla, principal in charge with DWL Architects + Planners.  By creating a more efficient design, Terminal Security Checkpoint B has the capacity to expand to four lanes, with the entire terminal having the infrastructure to expand to 10 lanes in the future.

As the general contractor for this project, Sundt Construction has now completed three projects at Tucson International Airport. “We are pleased to continue the great relationship we have with Tucson Airport Authority and help them as they look for new opportunities to better serve their customers,” said David Ollanik, Project Director. “The upgrades we’re making to the electrical and communications systems will allow the airport to grow over the next 20 years.’”

By completing the Terminal Optimization Project in phases, and with the help of Hill International as the Program Manager/Construction Manager, the team has kept the airport operational through construction, with the final phase coming in November 2017. Travelers can look forward to an elevated passenger experience with the opening of Security Checkpoint A, upgraded terrazzo throughout the entire concourse and baggage claim, a children’s play area, additional infrastructure upgrades and modernized finishes and amenities.


About DWL Architects + Planners, Inc.
Founded in 1949, DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. has established itself as a local leader in aviation design. Playing the leading role in the development of several aviation projects across the state, DWL Architects’ aviation team focuses on terminal expansions, renovations, concourses, concessions, checkpoints and more. Because of this experience, DWL Architects’ work has been consistently recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Among the most dynamic and respected locally owned architecture firms in the state of Arizona, DWL Architects has a legacy of creating people places. With nearly 45 professionals, we bring expertise from a range of industries like aviation, hospitality, public infrastructure, healthcare and higher education. DWL Architects believes in connecting design to its environment.

About Sundt Construction
Sundt Construction, Inc. ( is one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors. The 127-year-old firm specializes in transportation, industrial, building and concrete work and is known for its commitment to quality and innovative approach to construction services. Sundt has 10 offices throughout Arizona, California, Texas and Utah and is 100 percent owned by its approximately 2,000 employees. The company is consistently ranked among the Best Places to Work by business publications in multiple cities and in 2016 it was named the nation’s safest construction company by the Associated General Contractors of America for the second time in a decade – an honor no other contractor can claim. Sundt’s charitable arm, the Sundt Foundation, recently crossed the $7.7 million mark in donations made to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the country. Click here for more information on Sundt’s aviation construction experience.

About Tucson Airport Authority
The Tucson Airport Authority (TAA) is an independent, non-profit organization operating Tucson International Airport (TUS) and general aviation reliever Ryan Airfield (RYN). TAA has sustained its operations since its origin in 1948 from airport generated revenues without the use of local taxes, and continues to invest millions of dollars each year in safety, security and facility infrastructure that drives job creation and economic activity for the benefit of Tucson and southern Arizona. The two airports currently support 35,000 jobs and house more than 100 tenants, and serve a diverse mix of aviation and non-aviation related businesses, as well as military and government operations.

About Hill International, Inc.
Hill International, with 4,300 professionals in 100 offices worldwide, provides program management, project management, construction management, construction claims and other consulting services primarily to the buildings, transportation, environmental, energy and industrial markets.  Engineering News-Record magazine recently ranked Hill as the eighth largest construction management firm in the United States.  For more information on Hill, please visit our website at


Recomposure Area

Checkpoint – serving the B Concourse

Business Center

New Banner Health Clinic Coming to Phoenix


PHOENIX, Ariz., (March 23, 2017) — Ryan Companies US, Inc. and Banner Health broke ground today on a 29,350 square foot healthcare clinic in Phoenix, across from Desert Ridge Corporate Center.

The new clinic will provide primary care services, dermatology services with spa and laser treatments and x-ray imaging. The healthcare office will have 30 exam rooms, an independent laboratory and a conference room.

“We are excited to become part of the Desert Ridge community,’’ said Mystie Johnson Foote, MD, Chief Executive Officer for Banner Medical Group. “We can offer our new community convenient, high-quality care for individuals and their families.’’

This will be the first Banner Health clinic to provide dermatology and medical spa amenities. The medical spa rooms will be designed to enhance patients’ experience and comfort.

“The new facility is designed to be a comfortable and empowering environment for the Desert Ridge community,” said Rachel Jebaraj, Project Manager at DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. “It’s been a privilege to support Ryan Companies and Banner Health, two leaders in their respective industries, in a building that demonstrates Banner’s commitment to exceptional patient care.”

Construction will conclude December 2017 and the new healthcare clinic will offer patients convenient access to primary care and dermatology services at one location.

Ryan Companies is providing development, construction and financing services for the project and will own the single-tenant medical office building once completed. DWL Architects + Planners, Inc. is the tenant improvement architect and Butler Design Group is the shell architect for the project.

“Banner Health is committed to excellent patient care and innovation, and Ryan is thrilled to develop and build an integrated clinic to meet existing community and Banner Health needs,” said John Strittmatter, Chairman, Southwest, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

The medical office building will be located between Irma lane and the Loop 101, west of Tatum Boulevard and adjacent to Mountainside Fitness.


February 20, 2017 0 Comments

NAU’s Student & Academic Services Building Setting High Performance Standards

Academic Excellence

Check out this story on Metal Construction News, discussing the various ways the Student and Academic Services Building on Northern Arizona University’s campus incorporates metal to achieve the design vision. In addition, learn more about how the facility is environmentally conscious, having achieved LEED Gold in 2016.

“The architectural character and sustainable strategies of the SAS Building celebrate many of the unique attributes of its surrounding natural and institutional environments. Specifically, the building’s exterior draws its aesthetic inspiration from the biologic forms of Northern Arizona’s extensive ponderosa pine forests and the intrinsic character of the existing campus architecture.”
– Mark Dee, Principal-in-Charge

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Phoenix Sky Harbor Terminal 3 Featured in ENR Southwest

Sky Harbor Airport Terminal Sheds Concrete


Check out this story on ENR Southwest, featuring a look inside the Terminal 3 Modernization at Phoenix Sky Harbor.

The story expands upon each of the three phases in this project and explains how the design-build team transformed an existing, closed-in and internally oriented concrete structure into a new and open experience that embraces the city and uses modern wayfinding to achieve the project goals.


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Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Creates a Destination Inside Terminal 3

DWL Architects | SmithGroupJJR | Corgan design unprecedented passenger experience that connects to the city and Sonoran desert landscape

PHOENIX, Arizona, December 6, 2016 – The first of a three-part phased modernization of Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport today opened its doors to the public.

“We orchestrated the design team to create an unforgettable experience for passengers and visitors alike – an experience that only Arizona could offer.” said Steve Rao, AIA, LEED AP, president of DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., the project’s prime architect. The design-build team is comprised of DWL Architects + Planners, SmithGroupJJR and Corgan, along with contractor joint-venture HuntAustin.

With the modernization project, Arizona’s main transportation hub, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, will become the crown jewel among the Sonoran landscape. Unlike many airports, Phoenix Sky Harbor is uniquely located in the bustling City of Phoenix. It serves more than 40 million passengers every year, and has become a destination for travelers across the world. In November 2016, Phoenix Sky Harbor was ranked #1 in the U.S. by travel website based on on-time flights, amenities and more.

Capital Improvement Plan
The City of Phoenix’s Capital Improvement Plan for 2015-2020 was the vision to bring the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and surrounding areas into a unified campus. It determined a half billion-dollar modernization to Terminal 3 was needed to accommodate increased passenger flow while also creating a world-class travel experience.

Three Component Modernization
The project has three components comprised of renovating the processor building and north concourse, as well as demolishing and building a new south concourse. This, in turn, supports the vision of a multi-modal campus incorporating the PHX Sky Train® and the City’s Light Rail System. The project is being completed in phases to minimize impact to travelers.

The biggest challenge during the initial phase of the modernization program was creating a new and open experience from the original closed-in and internally oriented concrete building. To accommodate the world-class views and provide an open, daylight filled space, the design team manipulated the existing structure by removing large sections of the mezzanine and the pre-cast façade.

“With the design, we took advantage of the Phoenix location and made connections to the city and surrounding mountains with views that are truly outstanding,” said Mark Roddy, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, design director, SmithGroupJJR. “We took what was a very inwardly focused building and made it externally focused, celebrating the beautiful Sonoran Desert landscape.” The structure of the Terminal 3 building remains intact, while a striking, new glass façade now fronts. “We kept the structure of the old terminal we designed back in 1978, retaining its ‘good bones,’ said Rao.

The Journey
The arrival experience on the north curb immerses visitors into the Sonoran desert flora with unique vegetation forms. The glass façade on the west encapsulates a cutting-edge, industry-leading facility. The large overhanging pavilion roof, representative of a porch, and west shading is carefully calibrated to reduce glare and heat gain, while maintaining views of the city and landscape.
The recomposure atrium provides a unique place for passengers to gather and explore the views of the airfield and the Phoenix Mountains Preserve after passing through security.

The DWL Architects | SmithGroupJJR | Corgan team aimed to revive the romantic feeling of aviation travel and designed a grand gathering space reminiscent of great transportation halls of the past. Located between the north and south concourses, the Great Hall transforms the current passenger hall with higher volumes, views, and natural light, while providing a centralized passenger amenities area. A Museum Gallery has also been added to the terminal. In future phases of the project, new shops and restaurants will open, giving travelers a chance to continue their Arizona
experience even after passing through the security checkpoint.

At the fourth and top level, skylights offer clear views of the sky and the combination of the glass angle and the gradient opacity of the glass eliminate glare. The result is a space naturally illuminated and connected to the environment. The ceiling, with its shifting, undulating, illuminated surfaces provides a sense of lift punctuated by a series of skylights.

Materiality Wayfinding
The airport terminal is a bustling public place where people from all over the world move through. Given the need to create a space to accommodate the vast array of diverse commuters, careful consideration was given to the use of materials to help guide an efficient passenger flow. Wood panels, acoustic metal ceiling panels and the use of six shades of terrazzo flooring provide a natural flow with intuitive wayfinding. Atriums at both the departures and arrivals areas provide transparency, so one can see where they are headed whether through the facility or outdoors.

Modernization to Continue
Following the completion of the initial stage will be Phase 2 of the modernization program. Targeted for completion in late 2018/early 2019, it will create a new 15-gate south concourse. New amenities such as food and retail concessions will be added. Finally, Phase 3, to be completed in 2020, will involve the complete remodel of the north concourse focusing on an open passenger experience with shared holdrooms and concessions enhancements.

Design and Construction Team
DWL Architects, Arizona’s premier aviation architect, has worked at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) for more than 50 years as a committed partner and trusted advisor, completing more than 200 projects to-date. Playing a leading role in the development of the airport, DWL Architects has provided architectural services that have grown the facility from one terminal to three. The core team has worked at the airport on terminal expansions, renovations, new concourses, concessions, checkpoints and more. Because of this expertise and unparalleled understanding of PHX culture, DWL Architects serves as the prime architect providing local and jurisdictional expertise, aviation and operational knowledge, as well as effective guidance navigating client relationships. In addition to being the team lead, DWL Architects’ specific architectural role includes the core building design focusing on the overall terminal planning.

SmithGroupJJR is recognized as one of the nation’s top architecture and engineering firms and the recipient of more than 400 design awards just in the past five years. With a longtime presence in Arizona that dates back to 1978 upon the opening of its Phoenix office, SmithGroupJJR has become well known for its design excellence in the community; among its most lauded designs are Chandler City Hall, GateWay Community College’s new Integrated Education Building, and the first net-zero energy project in Arizona: the DPR Construction regional headquarters building. Due to its design expertise and local knowledge, SmithGroupJJR serves as design lead for the overall building envelope as well as the surrounding landscape. The firm also is also leading lighting design to create a unique experience in and outside the facility, and is responsible for maximizing the performance of the building through sustainable design measures.

Corgan is a 78-year-old architectural firm with nearly 200 professionals dedicated exclusively to the planning and design of aviation facilities. Corgan has built lasting relationships with aviation clients at more than 150 airports across the globe. These partnerships, in conjunction with the ability to deliver complex terminal programs, are a direct contribution to the firm’s recognition as Building Design + Construction magazine’s 2016 #1 Airport Terminal Architecture Firm. Leveraging its extensive research in wayfinding and international aviation design expertise, Corgan’s role in the PHX Terminal 3 Modernization project focuses on programming and leading the interior design effort to elevate the passenger experience and enhance interior circulation.
HuntAustin, a Joint Venture, is a 50-50 partnership between Hunt Construction Group and Austin Commercial.

HuntAustin has delivered more than 36 million square feet at 21 of the nation’s busiest airports, including: Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Phoenix, and Sacramento. Additionally, the joint venture has had a major presence in Phoenix for more than a decade with multiple successful projects at PHX, including the consolidated rental car facility, security checkpoints, airport-wide signage, and food and beverage.

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For more information:
Katie Isebrands

Doors Opening Soon for Phase One at Terminal 3

The first phase of the Terminal 3 Modernization Program at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is nearing completion and will open its doors to the public later this year. The phased Terminal Modernization Program will greatly improve the passenger experience and create a world-class facility for airport visitors.

The key design strategies for the planning approach was to provide the traveler with a sense of place and orientation. The major functions (ticketing, baggage claim, security checkpoint and gates) have been organized to improve the passenger experience by creating a natural flow with intuitive wayfinding throughout the facility. Coupled with modern, hospitable finishes, abundant natural light and passenger amenities, the modernization will attain its goal of providing a superior travel experience within a world-class facility.

In order to remain operational throughout construction and have as little of impact to the passenger as possible, the program is broken into three components: the Terminal Processor, the South Concourse and the North Concourse, with the first component being the Terminal Processor. The upgrades include a Great Hall for a centralized post-security passenger experience, enhanced passenger amenities and a larger, consolidated security checkpoint to provide efficiency and reduced wait times. Improved airline ticket counter space accommodates today’s modern check-in process and additional baggage carousels increase handling capacity.

The modernization embraces the facility’s unique location and place, responding to Phoenix’s culture, community, progressive architecture and sustainable desert building techniques. “By opening up the old terminal DWL designed back in 1978, we were able to incorporate spectacular atrium spaces, skylights with natural light and exclusive views, connecting travelers back to the City and native Arizona desert landscapes. This is an experience unlike many airports around the world,” said Steve Rao of DWL Architects + Planners, Design Team Director for the project. By making this connection to the surrounding mountains and city views, the design team was able to take advantage of being located in the heart of the city. The design reinforces the overarching goal of creating a sense of place for the community.

The glass façade on the west establishes the new “front door” for the airport, encapsulating a cutting-edge, industry-leading facility. The modernization of the existing terminal, as part of the larger holistic campus, provides monumental opportunities to create an identity and incorporate Phoenix Sky Harbor’s aviation legacy. This, reinforced by the connection to the PHX Sky Train® and the City’s Light Rail System, establishes the foundation for the future of the airport.

Together with HuntAustin, a Design/Build joint venture, and in collaboration with DWL Architects + Planners, Inc., Corgan and Smith GroupJJR, this team has achieved the goal of creating a world-class facility. As the designers of the original Terminal and the lead architect of this terminal modernization, DWL brought a sense of stability, vision and understanding to the team. Future phases of the project will see an all new South Concourse and a modernization of the North Concourse with additional restaurant and retail options, all with a goal of improving the way one travels through America’s Friendliest Airport®.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton hosted a media tour on October 21, 2016, providing media an exclusive sneak peek at the upgrades completed in phase one of construction.

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Falcon Field Honored as One of ENR’s Best Projects in the Southwest

The City of Mesa Falcon Field Airport Terminal Upgrades project has been selected as the Best Project in the Renovation/Restoration category for the 2016 Engineering News-Record (ENR) Regional Best Projects awards competition for the Southwest region.

The annual awards program is dedicated to honoring the best construction projects and companies in the U.S. and Puerto Rico with the Southwest region consisting of Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. Among the 20 categories, ranging from airports to sports and entertainment venues, each project is judged using five criteria: safety; overcoming challenges and teamwork; innovation and contribution to the industry; construction quality and craftsmanship; and functionality of design and aesthetic quality.

Falcon Field opened in September 1941 as a military airport to train British Royal Air Force and U.S. Army Air Corps pilots. Today it is among the top 10 most active general aviation airports in the United States, serving corporate, military, public safety, recreational and instructional aviation uses.

“The design took to heart the overarching goal for this project: to send a strong message that this airport is at the center of Mesa’s aerospace and high-tech industry. The new terminal is contemporary both inside and out, but elements of the design evoke memories of the airport’s past as a World War II pilot training base,” said Sandra Kukla of DWL Architects + Planners, principal in charge for the project.

The renovation resulted in a $1.8 million comprehensive remodel and expanded the terminal from 3,560 square feet to 4,734 square feet. The new terminal includes enhanced public waiting and pilot briefing space, a meeting room, upgraded restrooms, new airside and landside patios and public aircraft viewing areas as well as other interior improvements and an upgraded arrival experience.

“Falcon Field is a regional hub for aviation business and recreational activity, and these improvements not only reflect the continuous improvements that we make to the airport’s infrastructure, but also will help us remain competitive in our efforts to attract businesses and continue to be financially self-sustaining,” said Corinne Nystrom, Airport Director.

The City of Mesa Falcon Field Airport Terminal Upgrades project will automatically compete in the Best of the Best Projects 2016, a national juried competition and will be a featured project at the ENR Southwest Best Projects Awards Event on November 10, 2016 at the Renaissance Phoenix Hotel in downtown Phoenix.


  • Best Project — City of Mesa Falcon Field Airport Terminal Upgrades
  • Lead Design Firm: DWL Architects
  • General Contractor: Builders Guild Inc.
  • Owner/Developer: City of Mesa / Falcon Field Airport


Falcon Field Conference Room Falcon Field Interior Falcon Field Exterior Detail Falcon Field Exterior Falcon Field Airport

DWL Honored with Two Arizona Masonry Excellence Awards

The Arizona Masonry Guild honored Mesa Community College’s Art Gallery with the Citation Award, in the Non-Residential category, at the 25th Annual Excellence in Masonry Architectural Awards Banquet.

Midwestern University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Equine and Bovine Center took home the Honors Award in the Non-Residential category.

Congratulations Maricopa County Community College District and Midwestern University as well as our Project Teams on these achievements!


MCC Art Gallery MCC Art Gallery MWU_LAF-45 MWU Equine and Bovine Center



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