When Allegheny County selected Tasso katselas for Pittsburgh's new international airport, they sought a bold outlook in design. Deregulation in the late '70's made way for a regional airline boom, stretching the capabilities of the existing Greater Pittsburgh International Airport -- dubbed "Taj Mahal" for its size at its opening in 1952 --to the limit. Now, for a fifth time in eight decades, the county was back at the drawing board.

Tasso katselas Associates provided the interim solution -- a 1982 expansion for the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. By 1986, the county was ready for permanent answers, and the blend of aesthetics, pratical wisdom and economy for which Tasso Katselas Associates stands.

The design is an honest declaration of what it is to meant to do. Land and air activites are separated in two distinct buildings, connected by an underground people mover. Ticketing, baggage, ground transporation and concessions are handled in the vaulted landside building. Arrival and departure gates fan out from the X configuration that extends from the airside building's core -- a design that was resisted until TKA determinded that it would mean a $12 million annual savings in fuel. Another one of TKA's unique solutions was to create separate arrival and departure routes to the airport for private and commercial vehicles, easing potential traffic problems.

In spite of an unscheduled expansion during construction, from 1.2 million square feet to 2.1 million square feet, Pittsburgh International Airport was delivered on time and within budget at its Octover 1992 opening.  In survey after survey, it was deemed profoundly "user friendly." Pittsburgh International Airport ranked highest in attractiveness, available ground transportation, clear sinage, speedy baggage delivery and ease in reaching gates.

In movement from landside to airside, the user remains dominant.  At the airport's single streamilned security checkpoint, a passenger has postivie direction as he moves through detection apparatus, to station, to shuttle, from landside t0 airside in a total of 70 seconds.  To avoid confusion, concourses A, B, C and D radiate from a central point leading to sequentially numbered gates; there is an A1 and a B27, but no A27 or B1.