IAH International Arrivals Building


City of Houston Airport System


Size: 785,000 SF

Architect: PGAL

IAH International Arrivals Building


Conceived as a crucial new international, the George W. Bush Intercontinental Airport International Arrivals Building (IAB) is strategic to continued growth of international travel to and from Houston. Shoehorned onto a prominent site at the center of an active airport, the IAB presented many structural design opportunities. To complicate the project, construction was scheduled to start in October, 2001. After the terrorist attack of September 11th, it was modified “on the fly” to accommodate new FAA security screening protocols. 

The architecture provides a grand space for arriving travelers, using clean and elegant exposed roof trusses with columns located at 50 foot centers. Clerestories between the curved trusses draw in natural light to the main arrivals hall.

Though the structure is elegant, it was constructed of simple shapes connected via well-crafted connections to eliminate expensive through-plates and gussets where possible. 

Bridge connectors to the new Terminal E, an adjacent parking garage, expansion of the aerial Automated People Mover, extension of the below-grade Inter-Terminal Train, and roadway modifications were all part of this complicated project.