Indianapolis International Airport - Midfield Terminal
Indianapolis, IN

Syska Hennessy's Aviation Team served as the Primary Engineer to provide MEP/FP, Lighting and Vertical Transportation design services for the new 1.2 million square foot Midfield Terminal Program. The new airport project features a modern terminal built in the "midfield" area of the present airport, between the two main runways. The $939 million project was completed in 2007.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority's goal for the New Indianapolis Airport demanded that the airport be modern efficient and uniquely representative of the history and future of Indiana. The result is an architectural structure that works with the wind, sun and takes advantage of natural illumination.

The heart of the terminal is a circular glass enclosed space that serves the functions of security, retail and food service as well as provide space for civic activities, art gallery and public events. The Civic Plaza is approximately 60’ tall with 100’ diameter skylight. The terminal's design incorporates the latest green practices that includes a great arched roof which shelters the glass walls from sun and collect the sun's illumination through its skylights. The arching of the roof promotes natural cooling by harnessing the air flow over its surface and the roof surface will reflect energy, limit heat gain and channel water for collection.

Other sustainable design features include a hydraulic system designed with radiant floor heating and cooling systems to offset the solar load during the summer and reduce air distribution capacity. In addition, the system is designed to maintain space temperature within the occupied zone and allows the temperature to rise through the principals of stratification further reducing the supply air resulting in a lower initial and operating cost. By building the terminal in the midfield between the main runways, taxing has been cut significantly, reducing passengers' time spent in aircraft, as well as fuel consumption, air pollution and noise.

Architectural lighting design was provided to maximize delivery of available daylight into the space. Multiple zoned photocell control of majority of artificial lighting system insures that the airport is optimizing the use of the natural illumination.

The soaring ticketing hall is indirectly illuminated with metal halide. The large central skylight with Civic Plaza fills this central hub and retail area with daylight. A theatrical truss system provides flexibility for various community events and exhibitions which take place within Civic Plaza. Lighting design was also provided for the extensive commissioned art program that occurs throughout the airport from local Indiana artists.

The terminal was designed to foster economic growth, make Indianapolis a distinct travel destination, and reflect the cultural history and bright future of Indianapolis, while applying newly advanced security considerations.


1,200,000 sf


2008 Best of 2008 Award of Merit - Transportation - Midwest Construction
2010 Engineering Excellence Platinum Award: Building/Technology Systems - ACEC New York