Mad at Denver International Airport’s new addition? Move on

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Mad at Denver International Airport's new addition? Move on
This sculpture, created by sculptor Ned Kahn, is called Field of Air and moves and shifts with the wind that comes through the plaza between the terminal and the new Westin DIA hotel at the south end of Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado, on November 19, 2015 // Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post
Mad at Denver International Airport's new addition? Move on
This sculpture, created by sculptor Ned Kahn, is called Field of Air and moves and shifts with the wind that comes through the plaza between the terminal and the new Westin DIA hotel at the south end of Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado, on November 19, 2015 // Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

Denver International Airport’s new addition: Is it good enough to win over folks unhappy that it blocks the beloved main terminal?

Public opinion is split down the middle when it comes to the new hotel and transit center at Denver International Airport. Some people are just happy the project is done after five years of planning and cost overruns, pleased there’s a place to stay on-site before eye-aching, 6 a.m. flights. Others will be mad at it, forever, for blocking views of the beloved Jeppesen Terminal, one of the most important pieces of architecture in the Western United States.

It didn’t have to be that way. For $600 million in public money, airport management, despite its multiple excuses, could have come up with something better, a building just as unique and unifying as the quirky, tented icon architects Jim Bradburn and Curt Fentress sketched out on a cocktail napkin a quarter-century ago. The lack of a complement turns the new structure into an insult.

I think it’s important to acknowledge the communal resentment that exists, to legitimize the anger or loss or whatever you are feeling. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Mourn.

Now enough of that. Time to move on.

On a more positive note, the new hotel and rail station is its own kind of accomplishment, a success for Gensler, the design firm that took the lead on the project in 2011, after the original master plan architect, Santiago Calatrava, split from the scene. […]

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