When The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) set out to redevelop Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal A, they had a clear vision in mind: to provide a world-class passenger experience that would embody and reflect the spirit of New Jersey and highlight the best of what the state has to offer.
The PANYNJ contracted Munich Airports NJ LLC to build and operate the terminal, who in turn, worked closely with Arconas to bring their vision to life.
Defining the Vision
Every aspect of the passenger journey was carefully considered to bring this vision to life. This strategy, known as the “Journey of Surprises,” sought to immerse passengers’ senses in the diverse sights, sounds, and flavors of the unique regions that define the New Jersey experience: Coastal, Woodlands, and Communities.
Inspiration was drawn from various elements of the passenger journey to provide a comprehensive sensory experience. From artwork, the digital and informative aspects, concessions, and furniture and seating options, and even the physical path taken by passengers, all of these factors contributed to the storytelling of the Journey of Surprises.
Along with technical requirements, such as ADA features, sustainable materials, and fire proofing, in creating the design approach for passenger boarding lounges, several requirements were identified to help shape a well-rounded and inclusive passenger experience.
Variation in seating
Providing a variety of seating styles and options would ensure that all passengers would be able to find a comfortable space along their journey.
Charging stations, work surfaces and connectivity to provide passengers with all the conveniences they might need.
New Jersey flavor
Infuse the flavor and character of New Jersey in all areas to create a distinct and authentic experience.
Munich Airports Group and Portland Design performed an exploratory exercise on what the best furniture options would be to fit their functionality, purpose and aesthetics for an enhanced passenger experience and came up with a specific design vision. When looking for a furniture provider, it was important to stay close to and maintain the integrity of the vision while balancing efficient production.
The project was ongoing in 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic came on strong. During this time, everything was up in the air, with a lot of challenges and uncertainty happening at every turn. There were delivery, logistical and supply chain challenges.
Construction schedules and timelines were constantly changing. Munich Airports Group shared their design vision with Arconas and identified the challenges as they saw them, including the bespoke nature of their seating concepts, supply chain, manufacturing and delivery. All aspects of the project needed to be thought through. Everyone was operating in a strange new environment with no precedents and constantly changing rules of operation. How would these new challenges impact the materials being used in the airport? How would the impact of COVID-19 affect airport terminals function? What new features would be needed – short & long term?
Turning the Vision into Reality
Arconas collaborated closely with Munich Airports Group to come up with customizations to existing products to address challenges and propose ways to streamline the vision to simplify production. Adaptations were made to improve maintainability and lifecycle costs.
Arconas’ comprehensive product line was key in being able to provide what was proposed with minimal customization.
The concept of the community bench was achieved by using Green Furniture Concept’s Nova C bench, with custom finishes to match the proposed color palettes for each region.
The people watcher bench was proposed to give passengers the feeling like they’re relaxing on the Jersey Shore. This was also achieved using Green Furniture Concept’s Nova C reclining benches.
Custom-designed Green Furniture Concept workstations using the Seamless Table created functional surface areas, but the addition of Leaf Lamp Trees added a calming and whimsical feel.
Arconas supplied its Bernù Aero Poly tandem seating in custom colors with powder-coated Blackstone finishes to bring the vision to life.
inPower flex 3 and Green Furniture Concept’s power modules were included on all seating, some in fun, complimentary colors, so that power is readily available for passengers on multiple platforms: USB-A, USB-C, AC, and wireless charging.
To help streamline procurement and delivery, Arconas used its overseas expertise to procure and import Smarin’s Pebbles in passenger boarding areas to provide a casual and playful feel.
Arconas also facilitated the procurement of customized barstools from Magis to complement the workstations.
Even the waste and recycling bins were carefully considered. Sleek Auweko Temptation waste and recycling bins with transparent side panels and custom decals are situated throughout the terminal.
The response to the new terminal and seating has been overwhelmingly positive. Munich Airports Group, along with Arconas and Green Furniture Concept, successfully executed the original design concept with remarkable accuracy, utilizing readily available and easily customizable products.
Sandra Chaglassian, Director of Sales and Marketing for Green Furniture Concept described the collaboration with Arconas as a dream. “The amount of creativity and ingenuity we put into all the different configurations and colors was quite a challenge but to see it come to life and capture the essence of New Jersey was the ultimate accomplishment.”
Arconas is proud to have played a part in bringing such an innovative and immersive facility to life.
“We’re very proud to have contributed to the realization of such an innovative and immersive facility,” says Lynn Gordon, Vice President of Business Development for Arconas. “This bright and spacious new terminal will be a source of pride for Newark and its surrounding communities for decades to come.”
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