Portland International Airport (PDX) | PDX Terminal Redevelopment Public Art RFQ | Suspended Artworks
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and the Port of Portland (Port) in Portland, Oregon, are inviting artists to submit their qualifications for the design and installation of a permanent public art display that will be a part of the Portland International Airport’s (PDX) terminal redevelopment project.
The Port of Portland has contracted with the Portland area’s Regional Arts & Culture Council to manage the selection process for this public art opportunity.
PDX has been recognized as the best airport in the United States eight times in the last decade. The airport consistently ranks high when it comes to customer service, based on its facilities, accessibility, and security. PDX is renowned for its local restaurants, beverages, and retail offerings, as well as short films at no cost, rotating art exhibits, and permeant artworks throughout the airport.
PDX seeks to commission distinctive, site specific, original public artwork for the $2B terminal redevelopment project. This unique artwork location has been identified for this Request for Qualification (RFQ) within the newly designed terminal. All public artwork locations in the new facility are identified on the attached Exhibit_A. Separate RFQ documents will be released over the next year for the remaining art installations in the terminal redevelopment project.
A Selection Committee of community representatives, arts and culture professionals, and Port staff has been assembled to recommend artists or artist teams. Each piece of work shall reflect the essence of the region and create a memorable experience that passengers have come to expect from PDX.
This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will determine artist(s) eligibility to propose artwork for the specific location described in this document.
The due date to apply for this opportunity is Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 11:59pm PST.
The full request for qualifications can be downloaded here. All the exhibits can be downloaded here.
PDX AIRPORT OVERVIEW
PDX serves as the unofficial welcome mat to the Northwest with nearly 20 million travelers a year passing through. Once the TCORE project is complete, in 2025, the facility will be capable of serving 35 million passengers. In addition to passengers, PDX supports a workforce of over 10,000 employees.
PDX served 14,107,240 million travelers during Fiscal Year 2022, which is 29% down from FY19’s passenger count of 19,941,424, due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 2022, PDX has recovered from the impacts of the pandemic by 71%, out-performing Port financial analysts’ recovery forecast by 16.4%. Airline staffing shortages are currently suppressing a full recovery, which is expected by early 2024.
PDX operates primarily as an Origination and Destination (O&D) airport. Only 8% of passengers are connecting to other cities. The other 92% of travelers start or end their journey at PDX, and for all those passengers, the airport will be their first or last impression of the region.
With this in mind, the PDX art program seeks to create an environment that embodies the unique character of the Pacific Northwest. PDX is largely a leisure airport, with a smaller percentage of business travelers. This means that most airport users are either nearby residents or are deliberately choosing to visit our region for vacation, so both groups are particularly interested in a localized experience.
Twelve domestic carriers and six international carriers operate at the airport. The airport currently serves 53 domestic markets and, as of November 2022, will offer nonstop flights to 10 international destinations in Japan, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Iceland, Mexico and Canada, some of which are seasonal. Most international flights operate out of Concourse D. Combined, Alaska Air Group (which includes Horizon Air) is the largest passenger carrier at the airport and Southwest, Delta and United are the next three largest, respectively.
PDX currently contains four concourses with 50 gates and ground loading positions. When the terminal redevelopment project is complete, there will be 59 gates and the concourse connector will make its return in 2024, allowing passengers to navigate the entire terminal behind security.
PORT OF PORTLAND PUBLIC ART PROGRAM
PDX provides multiple venues for artists and community arts organizations seeking exposure for their works and collections. The program includes permanent art, rotating exhibits, a temporary installation program and a microcinema that showcases short films by Oregon filmmakers. More information on the art program can be found here.
PORT OF PORTLAND ART PROGRAM GOALS
Artists should also keep in mind the general goals of the Port of Portland’s entire art program, including that of commissioned permanent artworks.
- Represent artists of diverse races, genders, geographic origins, ethnicities, and ways of being with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion
- Incorporate a variety of artistic mediums/materials and aesthetics
- Reflect the region’s creative and cultural wealth
- Respond to the airport environment in consideration of designated architectural factors and features supporting the general character of the Port and PDX as described above
- Made of durable materials and easily maintained
PDX TERMINAL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The redevelopment of the main terminal doubles the footprint of the terminal and invites passengers and employees to celebrate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a design evoking a walk in the forest; with vast windows and skylights providing daylight, interior landscaping of living plants, and a monumentally scaled wood roof produced from locally sourced timber.
Overall, the project will grow, modernize, and beautify PDX, preparing it to meet the demands of a new generation of travelers. The upgrades include a 150-footwide building expansion that houses two brand new security checkpoints with increased capacity. The main entrance and ticket lobby will be fully redesigned to replace the 1950’s original, integrating today’s travel technologies. The concourse connector, which lets visitors move between the two sides of the airport without passing through security twice, will return. We’re also adding two new airline lounges, along with stunning artwork, lush greenery, and an impressive wood lattice roof.
The ticket lobby will be a bright and airy space with ample space for passengers to check in at their ticket counters while admiring the new pieces of artwork.
The pre-security concessions will surround a large community gathering space with stadium-style seating, which all departing travelers will pass through. The gathering space will regularly host special events, celebrations, and entertainment.
Not to be outdone, the grand halls immediately after each security checkpoint will be reconstructed with 30-foot ceilings, expansive window views, tons of natural light, greenery at every eye-level, and a lineup of concessions designed to look like a city streetscape, complete with pergola-style canopies and sidewalk seating. To get a more concrete idea of what the new main terminal will look like, visit pdxnext.com, where you’ll see renderings and construction photos.