The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today announced that Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal A has been nominated for UNESCO’s 2023 Prix Versailles, a prestigious global architecture and design award recognizing the world’s best new airport facilities.
The nomination exemplifies the agency’s ongoing commitment to create modern 21st century airports rivaling the most celebrated facilities in the world.
The new 1 million-square-foot Terminal A opened in early 2023, replacing the previous terminal that opened in 1973. The 33-gate facility features airy, light-filled concourses alongside state-of-the-art digital technology, modern passenger amenities, superior dining and retail options, and an innovative public art program showcasing dozens of local artists.
Terminal A has been designed and constructed to the standards of LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“Our agency is fully committed to offering our customers a world-class travel experience, and to be nominated among the world’s greatest airports is an honor and a testament to that vision,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.
“Terminal A’s remarkable design combines innovative technology, a multitude of local influences and an impeccable interior, marking the first step in a full reimagining of Newark Liberty.”
“We are proud that the world class quality of Terminal A at Newark Liberty, like LaGuardia before it, is now being recognized by international rating agencies,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We are grateful that with its stunning architecture, public art, and world class technology and amenities, Newark’s Terminal A is being nominated for this prestigious honor. We thank UNESCO for recognizing the new terminal as one of the world’s finest.”
“I am thrilled that Terminal A is getting the proper recognition it deserves with a nomination for the prestigious 2023 Prix Versailles Award,” said Tammy Murphy, the first lady of the state of New Jersey. “The terminal’s unique art installations and modern technology welcomes travelers from across the world, serving as a great first impression highlighting some of the many incredible offerings of our state!”
The Prix Versailles, created in 2015, aims to highlight “intelligent sustainability” as a cultural driver, touching on every aspect of the built environment. Recipients of the award, as cited by UNESCO, are selected for the “qualities of innovation, creativity, reflection of local, natural and cultural heritage, and ecological efficiency, as well as the values of social interaction and participation which the United Nations holds in high regard.” LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B was the recipient of this prestigious award in 2021.
The World Judges Panel will decide final recipients in December in categories including airports, campuses, passenger stations, and sports venues. Among airports, Terminal A is one of six nominees.
The new $2.7 billion Terminal A was delivered as part of a design-build consortium led by Tutor Perini/Parsons JV with Grimshaw as the design architect in partnership with STV as executive architect.
“We are honored to have worked with the PANYNJ and the rest of our team from TPP and STV on the new Terminal A at Newark,” said Mark Husser, a partner at Grimshaw.
“Terminal A is redefining the passenger experience at Newark with an enjoyable and spacious environment that is easy to navigate, filled with abundant natural light and establishing a bold new trajectory for the airport’s future.”
Alongside innovative amenities and eye-catching design, Terminal A also offers an unmistakable sense of place. The facility features several displays by an array of regional artists, including “Between Future Past,” which is artist Layqa Nuna Yawar’s 350-foot-wide mural celebrating any array of significant individuals throughout Newark’s past, as well as artist Karyn Olivier’s “Approach,” a twin pair of 50-foot suspended sculptures depicting different views of the New Jersey cities of Newark and Elizabeth captured from sunrise to nightfall. In addition, Terminal A features digital wayfinding with New Jersey-themed fun facts and quizzes. Many of the airport lounges also feature locally sourced furniture and décor.
The local connections also extend to food and retail offerings. They include local shops with roots in nearby Newark, Elizabeth, and Jersey City, complementing regional, national and global brands providing passengers with more dining and retail options.
Five airlines operate out of Terminal A: Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, American Airlines, JetBlue, and United Airlines.
Before their flights, travelers can lounge, work, dine or socialize with a view of the airfield and Manhattan skyline at one of three airport lounges – United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines’ Admirals Club. Plans for a fourth lounge, the 17,000-square-foot American Express Centurion Lounge expected to open in 2026, was announced this year.
Terminal A is the opening chapter of a larger re-imagining of the entire Newark Liberty International Airport. The privately financed Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRac) facility is expected to open later this year. The 2.7 million-square-foot facility will consolidate 10 rental car operations under one roof, allowing for a streamlined, simplified rental process. The terminal’s public parking facility also features the largest rooftop solar panel installation in any U.S. airport along with more than 150 electric vehicle charging stations.
For the remainder of the airport, the Port Authority has selected a world-renowned master planner to design a framework for future development through 2065, to recommend short- and long-term projects to enable economic growth, drive sustainability efforts, and create a world-class gateway for New Jersey and the region. The plan’s development includes extensive community outreach and participation.