Taking off! October 17th, 2017

By Bianca Koenig

 Wallace Group’s Ann Sever and Bianca Koenig were proud to help celebrate the grand opening of San Luis Obispo County Airport’s (SBP) newest terminal on Saturday, October 14th Guests parked on the airport apron and entered through the gangway, to experience the new terminal as if arriving by plane. The excitement kept building to discover six new passenger gates, the shell of a post-security concessions stand, and a glimpse of our favorite hangout– the outdoor courtyard!

Ann and Bianca Celebrate at the Grand Opening

 We felt great responsibility in the design of the central courtyard. Not only will it be the first outdoor experience for guests arriving from out of town, but it will also be the first place guests will experience upon clearing the security checkpoint. Goals for the outdoor courtyard were to provide a sense of calm, as well as provide a preview of the regional landscape, unique to San Luis Obispo.

 The most impressionable regional features, when flying, driving or hiking in San Luis Obispo, are undeniably, the Nine Sisters. These ancient volcanic peaks, are popularly referred to as the “Seven Sisters.” However, we wanted to represent all named, major peaks from Morro Bay to San Luis Obispo Airport, including Morro Rock, Black Hill, Cerro Cabrillo, Hollister Peak, Cerro Romauldo, Chumash Peak, Cerro San Luis, and Islay Hill. These are represented by nine boulders which approximately match the relative height and spacing of the real Nine Sisters. (We may or may not have also symbolically honored the two underwater peaks somewhere under the building foundation… ) In conjunction with the “Morros” which visually connect the two buildings, the two main planters were designed to represent coastal and agricultural lands. A weaving blue ribbon of glass aggregates links all features of the plaza like the creeks to the sea. Bold linear paving patterns provide the final backdrop as additional homage to the agricultural community which is integral to San Luis Obispo County.

Design Team and County Reps Honored

 Our team also prepared detailed hardscape, planting, and irrigation design for the main entry and parking areas of the new airport terminal. Bold bands work in concert with architectural features, while drought-tolerant trees frame the stunning views of the Cerros beyond. All planting areas utilize drought-tolerant, climate suitable plants bringing texture and drama to the courtyard experience, while the entry and parking areas connect visually to the gorgeous hills beyond.

 Pet Relief Area

After beginning the concept design back in 2013, it was truly a pleasure to watch the new terminal and grounds come to life on Saturday night. We are grateful for the opportunity to help build places where members and visitors of our community can create their own memories and experiences.