News Jul 13, 2019

Elevate Your Summer with the Art of the Airport Tower Exhibit

Three Jacobs-designed projects are included in the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution’s travelling exhibit, “Art of the Airport Tower.” Here’s what to expect on the photographic journey to airports around the world.

Air traffic control tower

Want to take your summer to new heights? Look no further than The Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas!

The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution’s travelling exhibit, “Art of the Airport Tower” is at the museum this summer, offering a photographic journey to airports around the globe – including three of Jacobs own projects.

Jacobs designed both the Newark Air Traffic Control Tower and Phoenix Sky Harbor Air Traffic Control Tower profiled in the exhibit, and a third tower at Dulles International Airport is profiled in the monograph supplementing the exhibit.

The Phoenix Sky Harbor tower – at 320 feet overall – provides air traffic controllers with unobstructed views of the entire airfield, and permit visual and electronic monitoring of takeoffs, landings and ground movement of aircraft. It’s 300 feet to the control room cab with the cab area totaling 850-square-feet.

The exhibit specifically recognizes Jacobs National Design Principal Stephen Wakeman for his design choices and inspiration on the project.

“As a welcoming beacon to travelers, the Phoenix Tower reflects its singular desert setting in the Valley of the Sun. The design was informed by the surrounding natural environment, taking color and materials inspiration from the fractured rock striations of the Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona and other nearby geological formations,” says Stephen. “It was my hope that the tower be unique to this place and of this extraordinary landscape.”

The Newark Air Traffic Control Tower stretches 325 feet into the air to oversee all three of the airport’s runways – which are part of the world’s largest airport system, including LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports, that together serve nearly 35 million people per year.

With more than 100 images highlighting the simple beauty of the airport tower, Smithsonian photographer Carolyn Russo details the varied forms and functions of air traffic control towers throughout aviation history and interprets them as monumental abstractions, symbols of cultural expression and testimonies of technological change.

Enjoy the exhibit now through July 19 in Dallas.

With more than seven decades of work in built environments, Jacobs’ more than 5,000 strategists, planners, architects, interiors, designers, engineers, managers and constructors around the globe support government, commercial, institutional and industrial clients across diverse markets and services. In addition to more traditional services, our expertise spans all aspects of specialty consulting to include asset management, economics, business development and scientific advancement. Jacobs is ranked No. 1 in Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms and No. 1 in Airport Design.