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Case Study: Creating Comfortable and Inclusive Airport Spaces

Case Study: Creating Comfortable and Inclusive Airport Spaces

Case Study: Creating Comfortable and Inclusive Airport Spaces

 

 

 

 

Arconas is dedicated to supporting the creation of more inclusive and welcoming airport terminals, by offering furniture solutions that prioritize accessibility and comfort.

 

We consult with specialized and professional organizations such as Open Doors Organization in the USA, and the Rick Hansen Foundation in Canada, to help us make informed recommendations to our clients on how to enhance the universal accessibility of their seating layouts in their terminals.

 

This case study takes a look at how Arconas’ diverse range of seating and furniture solutions can transform airport terminals into warm and accommodating environments for all passengers.

 

Background

Airport spaces have evolved over the years, with a growing emphasis on creating universally accessible areas to cater to the diverse needs of travelers from all walks of life.

Bernù Aero with ADA logo

 Having ADA/PRM designated seating close to the gate has been around for some time but, with the aging population and greater awareness of “hidden” conditions, terminal operators are embracing the creation of both calming and stimulating spaces.

 

“Airports can be overwhelming for everyone, but especially so for individuals with both physical disabilities and sensory sensitivities, such as autism or other developmental conditions, or passengers travelling with small children or the elderly,” says Lynn Gordon, Vice President of Business Development at Arconas. “Whether visible or hidden, meeting the needs of these passengers with differing abilities is top of mind for today’s airports and other transportation facilities.”

 

Airports serve as unique environments that embrace people from various cultures and backgrounds, as well as diverse life experiences.

 

“Spaces that consider the needs of all passengers create an environment and culture of inclusion, where everyone, regardless of their needs can travel in comfort and with confidence,” says Eric Lipp, Executive Director of Open Doors Organization. “That’s why we work closely with our airport clients to develop sound strategies for providing inclusive facilities for all passengers.”

Mci QuietQuiet Area | Kansas City International Airport
Mci SensorySensory Area | Kansas City International Airport

Arconas recognizes this and is on a mission to provide airports with innovative furniture ideas and solutions to enhance these passenger spaces. Incorporating these areas throughout the terminal allows for all passengers, with or without disabilities, to benefit from the positive effects spaces like these bring to the overall travel experience.

 

Creating Calm and Comfort with Quiet Areas

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To ease the hustle and bustle of travelling, areas of quiet and calm can provide travellers with moments of refuge and relaxation, where they can take a minute to breathe and recharge.


“Providing spaces for recovery and respite not only makes environments more comfortable but also increases access and inclusion for those who need safe, supportive and mind-friendly spaces to be able to participate.” Brad McCannell, Vice President, Access & Inclusion, Rick Hansen Foundation.


Arconas has a wide range of soft seating options that can be used to create these pockets of calm throughout the terminal.

The PARCS Wing Series, Toguna and DOCKLANDS by our product partner, Bene, can help create separation and areas of personal space within a more open terminal environment, which can facilitate relaxation and help soothe the minds and bodies of weary travelers. The higher walls provide acoustic and visual separation from the outside environment without completely isolating the passenger. These semi-private areas are a great alternative to private rooms or closed off pods as they help reduce safety, security, and maintenance risks while also being cost-effective.  These “pods” can be dimensioned to allow for full wheelchair and stroller access.  Utilizing non-permeable materials such as contract grade vinyl make the units easy to clean and maintain while having only a small reduction in their acoustic properties.


Many airports are also doing away with traditional business centres, so creating these individual areas are a way to supplement the need for quiet spaces for people to catch up on work or take a call, again providing a universally accessible space for anyone who needs it.

The PARCS Causeway is a soft bench with a small wall that can provide the feeling of separation from the larger area. Informal seating like benches can create a feeling of relaxation and added comfort.


The Nevada Chair also provides comfortable individual seating that would fit in any sensory area or quiet contemplation areas, bringing warmth and relaxation to any space.  With its clean lines, generous size and soft armrests, this chair is perfectly suited for nursing and children’s areas but also business travellers looking for a more private space. 


Unique Furniture for Families and Interactive Areas

On the other end of the spectrum, families travelling with children or large groups often require areas that provide additional support and comfort without restricting their movement or impeding on other travelers. Arconas offers innovative and dynamic furniture solutions that enable families to gather together comfortably.


Seating options that encourage free movement and flexibility, where travelers can stretch out and relax, have an immediate positive impact on passenger experience. ZigZag Bench and Connex are large seating areas that create dynamic areas for families or large groups. Connex sofas and benches offer the flexibility to be configured in unique arrangements, creating an environment where passengers can experience a heightened sense of freedom.

Screenshot 2024 01 29 at 2.27.28 Pm

Seating options that encourage free movement and flexibility, where travelers can stretch out and relax, have an immediate positive impact on passenger experience. ZigZag Bench and Connex are large seating areas that create dynamic areas for families or large groups. Connex sofas and benches offer the flexibility to be configured in unique arrangements, creating an environment where passengers can experience a heightened sense of freedom.

Fun pieces in interesting shapes or that can be moved may calm children and other travelers by providing a level of interactivity that can take their mind off the travel experience. FioreTwenty-Twenty and Star Bench are moveable and reconfigurable pieces that could be included in a sensory interactive area.

 

Screenshot 2024 01 29 at 3.29.02 PmAll Arconas soft seating pieces are available in wide range of materials and finishes to complement any terminal environment and are designed for easy cleaning, maintenance, and longevity. In addition, most models allow for the seamless integration of a safe power supply for recharging devices.

 
 


Benefits and outcomes

Incorporating quiet and interactive areas throughout the terminal in addition to specific areas or rooms creates a universally accessible passenger experience for all. Passengers don’t need to look on a map and trek to a specific area or room. Airports are able open their buildings and reclaim unused or underused spaces. Everyone, regardless of disability or not, can enjoy the diverse furniture options.


“At Open Doors Organization, we strive to promote inclusivity and the breaking down of barriers that individuals with disabilities often face when travelling,” said Lipp. “Arconas has always been responsive to our goal of improving accessibility for all. It’s exciting to see how their products can be used to create welcoming spaces that meet diverse needs, even where separate quiet or sensory rooms are not available.”


Below are examples of how Arconas products can be arranged to create inclusive areas within the terminal spaces.


Conclusion

Arconas’ innovative furniture solutions can help to transform airport terminals, fostering welcoming and inclusive environments that cater to diverse traveler needs. Our designs prioritize accessibility, comfort, and inclusivity, and can create spaces that enhance relaxation and elevate the overall travel experience.


For more information or assistance with a project, please visit www.arconas.com or contact Lynn Gordon, Vice President of Business Development, at lgordon@arconas.com.

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