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Myrtle Beach International Airport - New Terminal and Concourse


Design Architect:
Architect of Record:
Aviation Planner:
Architectural Programmer:
Concept Designer:
Codes Compliance Consultant:
Cost Estimator:
Airside Civil Engineers:
Landside Civil Engineers:
Landscape Designer:
Concourse Structural Eng.:
Terminal Structural Eng.:
MEP Eng. / Special Systems:
Lighting Designer:
Signage Designers:
Bag Handling Systems:
Program Manager:

Giuliani Associates
Timbes Group
Inform Studio
Rolf Jensen Associates
Kohnen Starkey
Tolbert & Bright
Castles Engineering
Waccawmaw Landscaping
Simpson Associates
Keyzer & Timmerman
Newcomb & Boyd
C. M. Kling Associates
Robinson Thinks
BNP Associates
M.B. Kahn










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New Terminal and Concourse at MYR: Image © Copyright LS3P

Giuliani Associates provided design leadership for a large, multiple-discipline design team composed of small local firms as well as large regional firms.

As the design architect in charge of the project design development, Giuliani provided space analysis/programming services and interior design for the ticketing lobby, baggage claim, arrivals lobby, security screening area, departure concourse including gate areas, and airline and airport offices and operations areas.

Giuliani Project Description: Passenger volume projections prepared by the Boyd Group established the need for additional passenger and aircraft operations facilities. In response, the existing airport facilities were enlarged accordingly:

New 214,000 SF passenger terminal building including:



Arrivals Lobby


Agent Positions


Self-service Kiosks


Airline Offices

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Common Use Facilities


Set of Exit Controls

Passenger Screening


Passenger Screening Lanes


Future PAX Screening Lanes


Set of TSA Offices & Support Facilities

Baggage Screening

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Bag Service Offices


In-Line EDS Machines

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Concourse - Upper Level


Full Service Restaurants


Quick Service Restaurant


News & Gift Shop


Departure Gates


3-Tunnel Apron Drive Passenger Boarding Bridges


Pre-Conditioned Air Units


Aircraft Power Units



Bag Makeup Carousels


Flat Bag Claim Devices


Vehicle Manuevering Lanes


Airline Operation Areas

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New and expanded engineering systems including:

  • Fire and domestic water supply systems, including fire line loop around building
  • Sanitary and storm plumbing systems, including internal roof drainage system
  • Central utility plant including air handling units, chillers, and cooling towers
  • Automatic fire sprinkler system, including dry systems in unheated areas
  • Electrical substation with switchgear and emergency generators with power-shedding controls
  • Architectural and functional lighting with energy efficient lighting fixtures
  • Power distribution for equipment, convenience use, and IT systems
  • Common-use passenger processing & airport information systems
  • Utilities to support concessionaires and advertising program

Landside sitework including:

  • New entry from county highway and access road with “cell phone” vehicle waiting area
  • Employee parking lot; hourly, daily, and long-term public parking lots
  • Parking control structures and vehicle queuing lanes
  • Consolidated rental car facility with ready / return parking lot
  • Hired vehicles (taxi cabs, busses, shuttle vehicles) transfer area
  • Departures and arrivals drive lane and separate hired vehicles drop-off lane with separate sidewalks

Airside sitework including:

  • Aircraft taxilane expansion and relocation
  • Aircraft parking aprons to accommodate fleet mixes from B757-300 to CRJ-200
  • Ground service equipment roadways
  • Aircraft apron lighting

The exterior appearance of the new terminal building is articulated to respond to the particular function housed within each portion of the building; both mass and materials are varied to create an assemblage of complementary assemblies:

  • Ticketing Lobby is an open high bay space surrounded by curtain walls of clear, frosted, and colored panes of glass to animate the façade and provide needed transparency for visual orientation and daylighting. Folded roof planes with clerestory window bands over the lobby and a glazed canopy at the departures curbside complete the image of a light-filled airy enclosure.
  • Arrivals hall is also a high bay space, but surrounded by 2″ insulated prefinished metal wall panels in three shades of bronze with punched window openings. The more solid appearance provides a visual break between ticketing lobby and baggage claim.
  • Baggage Claim is a lower space clad in both multi-paned curtain wall and bronze panels; it is articulated by a continuous canopy for maximum flexibility in passenger pick-up.
  • Departures Concourse is a two-story structure clad in matching curtain wall and metal panels on the upper level, enclosing the public spaces, and 6” deep-reveal panels enclosing the operations areas.

Interior finishes were selected for durability and ease of maintenance.

Public area floors are finished with porcelain tile, with the exception carpet tiles in the passenger holding areas. Gypsum board walls are articulated with reveals and feature dimensional patterned panels at key locations.  Large-scale (20″ x 60″) acoustical ceiling panels respond to the scale of the interior spaces.  The ceiling over the ticket lobby is composed of folded planes to reflect the roof profile; sloped ceilings over the departure lounges repeat the theme.

Project Phasing: To limit the impact of the terminal capacity enhancement program on existing airport operations, a phased approach was taken to construct the airport expansion:

Phase 1: Relocate existing taxilane; relocation was subdivided into 5 sub-phases to minimize impact on aircraft movement during construction.

Phase 2: Expand existing aircraft apron; expansion was pursued concurrently with repaving the existing aircraft apron.  3 sub-phases were pursued to maximize existing gate utilization.

Phase 3: Relocate landside access to existing terminal building and install new utility feeds to building expansion footprint.  Relocated roadways served as temporary access during construction and were converted to service access after construction was completed.

Phase 4: Construct landside portion of the terminal building expansion on non-secure side of AOA perimeter fence.

Phase 5: Construct new permanent landside access roadway, new short term & long-term parking lots, new “cell-phone waiting” lot, and new parking fees payment plaza.  Combined landside sitework phase was subdivided into 3 sub-phases to limit impact on landside traffic while maintaining construction traffic access to building expansion.

Phase 6: Construct airside portion of the terminal building expansion (departure lounges); AOA perimeter fence was relocated onto new expanded aircraft apron to create a non-secure site for airside building construction.

Phase 7: Construct connector between airside portion of terminal expansion and existing terminal building.

Phase 8: Renovate existing terminal building after completion of landside, airside, and connector portions of building expansion and re-establishment of AOA perimeter fence.

Design Intent: With 60 miles of beaches along the Grand Strand and 75 golf courses within 20 miles of the city center, Myrtle Beach has a solid claim on the title of a major American vacation destination.

Through a multitude of funding sources, Horry County was able to assemble a budget to fund a replacement for the existing terminal building and a renovation of the existing departure gate area.  To accommodate the various funding sources and solidify political support for the project, numerous construction packages were developed to maximize local participation in the building process.  Coordination among the packages was the key to a successful project.  Acting as program manager, M. B. Kahn Construction Company led the collaborative effort to realize the goal of transforming the airport from a generic transportation facility into a vacation gateway.

The centerpiece of the new terminal building is a daylight-filled ticketing lobby with ample queuing and circulation, forming a grand foyer to the new terminal complex.  North-facing clerestory glazing bands separate inclined ceiling planes, forming a wavelike ceiling and filling the lobby with glare-free lighting.  Sand-colored porcelain floor tiles cover the public areas of the terminal building, starting with the ticketing lobby floor.  Ticket counters are highlighted by a series of aircraft wing-form aluminum canopies; flat-screen monitors replace traditional airline identity signs to allow easy re-assignment of ticketing positions.  Self-service ticketing kiosk units located in front of the ticket counter line augment passenger processing.  Throughout the airport terminal, entries and vertical circulation elements are identified by dark blue cladding.  Consistent with that approach, large deep blue pylons flank the portal to the passenger security screening area and departure gates; wave-form panels located above the entry complete the portal.

Previously wedged between the ticketing lobby and departure gates, passenger security screening is housed in a separate area accessed by the ticket lobby portal.  The screening area egress lobby features a 30-feet high curtain wall providing a dramatic view of the airfield.  Deep blue clad elevator shafts identify the circulation path and frame the egress lobby.  For redundancy, two escalators and two elevators connect the first floor security egress lobby to the second floor departures concourses.

The second floor passenger circulation corridors are defined by a floating plane ceiling with knife-edge detailing.  Adjacent departure lounges feature ceilings sloping upward to surrounding curtain walls to maximize the view of the airfield.  Sand-colored porcelain floor tiles continue through the circulation corridors; the departure lounge floors are covered with playfully patterned carpet tiles.  Located in the center of the new departures concourse, a service core containing public toilets and concessions is highlighted by wave-form wall panels.

Reminiscent of classic train stations, a grand arrivals hall greets passengers and welcomes them to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand.  Two escalators and a monumental staircase transport passengers from the second level concourses to a garden-flanked lobby. Elements of the adjacent ticketing lobby folded plane ceiling penetrate the north wall of the arrivals hall to provide a visual counterpoint to the classically restrained arrivals hall walls.  Daylighting is provided by clerestory windows located above the ticket lobby ceiling elements on the north wall of the arrivals hall.

The baggage claim area is located to the south of the arrivals hall.  Like the arrivals hall, the baggage claim area provides covered access to the consolidated rental car center, located in an adjacent building.  The baggage claim area also provides direct access to a hired vehicles passenger pick-up area.  The baggage claim devices are complemented by highlighted wave-form wall panels mounted above each device.  A floating ceiling plane is located above each baggage claim device; each floating plane is separated from the next by raised ceiling sections reminiscent of the folded ceiling planes of the ticketing lobby.

Like Myrtle Beach, the new passenger terminal is casual and colorful.  Unifying elements such as dark blue portals and sand-colored corridor floor tile reinforce the ease of wayfinding through the terminal complex, while unexpected elements (like wave-form wall panels, colorful beach chairs, and an interior garden) add fun to the passenger experience.  All in all, the new terminal building says welcome to vacationland.

Professional Services: Several funding sources made the project feasible; in addition to passenger facilities charges, loans and grants were obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration.

Deadlines for loan and grant applications required a phased approach to project permitting and procurement.  Multiple construction document packages were prepared to support 22 separate bid packages. In addition to funding concerns, reviews by several agencies also required multiple submissions and consultations.  County regulations and guidelines controlled the procurement process while city officials addressed code concerns and community oversight organizations retained approval rights for the project size, details, and overall appearance. Careful coordination with Horry County Department of Airports was required to balance the conflicting interests of the stakeholders and ensure timely reviews and approvals by the following:

  • South Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Horry County Council
  • City of Myrtle Beach Building Department
  • City of Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Transportation Security Administration
  • Customs and Border Protection
  • Airline Technical Committee

Giuliani Associates provided design leadership for a large, multiple-discipline design team composed of small local firms as well as large regional firms.  As the design architect in charge of the project design development, Giuliani Associates provided space analysis/programming services and interior design for the ticketing lobby, baggage claim, arrivals lobby, security screening area, departure concourse including gate areas, and airline and airport offices and operations areas.  Programming was based on consultation and coordination with multiple airline, concessionaire, and airport staff stakeholders.  In addition, Giuliani Associates provided coordination between building architectural features and MEP infrastructure and also specialized equipment including passenger boarding bridges, baggage handling equipment, security screening equipment, access control systems, baggage handling and sortation systems, and airport information systems.  Detailed efforts were expended on interior design, which was based on adherence to an airport-established design criteria manual; of special concern was the design of airport system related millwork and cabinetry.  In addition to interior design, Giuliani Associates prepared several furnishings, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) packages for competitive bidding.

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