The development will be see collaboration between a local artist, airport and construction officials.
The terrazzo floor represents the first major construction update in the Airside Terminal in more than 20 years, and follows a $10 million AIRMALL project to transform the Center Core into a hub for high-fashion with new specialty retail shops.
Following a request for proposals in 2013, the ACAA commissioned artist Clayton Merrell, and the central element of the design, occupies a space that is approximately 69,000 square feet or 1.5 acres, is a vast blue sky with clouds, contrails and inlaid silhouettes of aircraft.
Merrell has also designed large silhouettes representing five iconic views of Pittsburgh neighbourhoods and recognizable landmarks including Heinz Field and PNC Park, Smithfield Street Bridge and Monongahela Incline, Cathedral of Learning and the historic Carrie Furnace.
Allegheny County executive, Rich Fitzgerald, explains: “Pittsburgh International Airport is one of our region’s most visible welcome centres to the world, so it is only fitting that a public art project that celebrates the unique heritage of Pittsburgh welcomes visitors and residents alike.
“Public art projects can promote our cultural heritage, support artistic development, makes us unique, and contributes to our economic development and tourism.
“This project enhances Allegheny County’s character and identity, and we are grateful for this collaboration and its installation here at the airport.”
David Minnotte, ACAA board chairman, adds travellers will encounter a modern floor surface with a rich design that captures the “unique heritage of Pittsburgh, highlights our shared experiences and complements AIRMALL’s award-winning concessions programme, completing a total transformation of the center core”.
Along with the Airport Authority, the Pittsburgh Office of Public Art, Pittsburgh architectural firm Lami Grubb, contractor Mosites Construction and terrazzo company Roman Mosaic & Tile of West Chester, are working to ensure Merrell’s design is accurately reflected in construction.
The floor will cost about $4 million and is funded through the airport authority’s capital budget, and the terrazzo floor will be installed in phases over the next 14 to 18 months.