The gateway says the firm has been charged with creating a 'unique, architectural, cultural and enhanced customer experience'.
DIA began construction in September 2013 on five new gates that will be utilised by Southwest Airlines, and the expansion project is expected to be completed in November 2014.
The new concourse will be designed as an airy, light-filled, easy-to-navigate space, and the design approach, DIA says will reinvent the way passengers experience gate areas and feature a mix of urban and natural architectural features, integrated with technology.
Architectural references to the industrial history of Colorado’s region will be found in materials such as steel beams; a strong unifying element that will be seen in custom pieces such as communal tables, as well as the main architectural feature of all the storefronts.
Three contractors are working on the $46 million expansion project, which will be paid for using Airport Capital Improvement Programme funds, generated through airport revenues.
Contracts include work on the building, apron paving and interior work, and have been awarded to Milender White, IHC, and FCI Constructors.
DIA CEO, Kim Day, explains: “As passenger expectations continue to increase, we and our partners at Southwest Airlines are working to create novel and enjoyable customer experiences.
“Not only will the addition of these five gates help the Southwest passenger on Concourse C, but the integration of food and retail and the traditional hold rooms will greatly improve the options and ambience of waiting for a plane.”
Amenities in this new space will feature iPads integrated in custom high top tables, and improved seating choices will include electrical outlets, cup holders and individual tables.
The layers of seating elements will be designed with pops of colour, while warm wood-look porcelain tiles will ground the center of the concourse in a play on the natural elements found throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
New concessions will include eSavvy, Say Si Bon Marketplace, the Coors Silver Bullet Sports Pub, and pop-up concepts, such as Colorado’s own ink! Coffee, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Tapas Sky Bar.
Gregg Paradies, president and CEO of Paradies, comments: “Paradies and our partners in Taste 5280 are proud to begin a successful tradition at DIA with these exciting new concepts.
“From Say Si Bon to Modmarket, and eSavvy to Tapas Sky Bar, the Southwest traveller will enjoy an all-encompassing shopping experience, featuring stores and restaurants that represent the Denver area.”
Paradies – Taste 5280 expects to generate $17.5 million in sales in the first year, and more than 80 jobs are expected to be created.
Denver ranks as Southwest Airline’s fastest-growing markets, and the airline plans to relocate their existing two gates on the A Concourse to the C Concourse, increasing its overall gate count from 19 to 22 gates, with the five new gates from C23 through to C27.