New York's LaGuardia Airport to be demolished and rebuilt

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New York's LaGuardia Airport to be demolished and rebuilt using three different designs

Proposals by SHoP Architects, Dattner Architects and Present Architecture have informed a concept design for New York's LaGuardia airport – completely replacing the existing terminals (+ slideshow).

On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and US Vice President Joe Biden announced that the airport in the Queens borough, which consists of disconnected ageing terminals, would undergo a complete overhaul.

LaGuardia Airport, New York by Shop, Dattner and Present Architecture

The project calls for tearing down the existing buildings and constructing a large, unified terminal.

In May, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages the airport, announced the selection of a consortium to lead phase one of the development. The global architecture firm HOK is part of the consortium, called LaGuardia Gateway Partners, and will serve as lead architect.

The "vision concept" for the project, released this week, was partly informed by an amalgamation of designs by three different New York-based firms: SHoP ArchitectsDattner Architects and Present Architecture.

Those firms submitted their ideas as part of the governor's Master Plan Design Competition for New York's airports, launched in 2014. The submissions were evaluated by the Governor's Airport Advisory Panel.

The panel narrowed the field down to three submissions, extracting "the best elements" from each, according to the governor's office. The panel then prepared a report with design recommendations for a new airport. The renderings released on Monday were developed by HOK under the direction of the panel.

LaGuardia Airport, New York by Shop, Dattner and Present Architecture

"New York had an aggressive, can-do approach to big infrastructure in the past – and today, we're moving forward with that attitude once again," said Cuomo. "We are transforming LaGuardia into a globally renowned, 21st-century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York."

Terminal B, also known as the Central Terminal Building, will be demolished and replaced by a larger facility, with a layout intended to reduce aircraft ground congestion and gate delays, in addition to providing a "world-class passenger experience".

This new terminal will be linked to Terminals C and D, which also will be demolished and rebuilt. Select parking garages will also be torn down and reconstructed.

LaGuardia Airport, New York by Shop, Dattner and Present Architecture

"The airport will be transformed into a single, structurally unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway spaces and best-in-class passenger amenities," said the governor's office.

Passengers will access gates via raised pedestrian bridges that will be high enough for aircraft to pass under. This "island-gate system" will help create nearly two miles (3.2 kilometres) of new taxiway space.

"This allows for a more efficient circulation of aircraft and reduced taxi-in and taxi-out times, which will yield shorter and fewer gate delays – a dramatic difference from today's LaGuardia," said the governor's office. "In addition, this change will produce overall reduction in carbon emissions from idling aircraft."

LaGuardia Airport, New York by Shop, Dattner and Present Architecture

"As Governor Cuomo has made clear, right now there is a once in a lifetime opportunity to implement a comprehensive design that will make LaGuardia Airport the truly world-class experience New Yorkers and visitors deserve," said SHoP in a statement.

"SHoP is proud that our ideas for an integrated terminal could contribute to solving that urgent need at this essential gateway to the city and the state."

Dattner Architects added: "We are extremely proud to have been able to contribute planning and design concepts in the Queens borough, which will transform LaGuardia Airport into a fully integrated multi-model development befitting New York City."

LaGuardia Airport, New York by Shop, Dattner and Present Architecture

The new terminal will be constructed closer to Grand Central Parkway, a major highway that passes by the airport.

The project also entails adding ferry service and a rail link. Direct passenger boat service to the historic LaGuardia Ferry Terminal will be restored. The plan also calls for building a new transit station that connects to the Willets Point train station in Queens.

Construction of the first phase of the project is expected to cost $4 billion (£2.5 billion). If all approvals are granted, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, will break ground in 2016.

LaGuardia Airport, New York by Shop, Dattner and Present Architecture

City officials have long discussed renovating or moving La Guardia Airport. In 2014, US Vice President Joe Biden likened it to an airport one might find in a third-world country.

In a 2012 survey conducted by Travel + Leisure magazine, La Guardia was named the worst airport in the country. In a current ranking of the 29 largest American airports, La Guardia ranks last in on-time departures.

Other recent airport schemes include a new Gensler-designed terminal for animals at New York's JFK airport and a proposal by a graduate student to elevate runways over city buildings in Stockholm.