MSP Airport – Silver Ramp Transit Center
The Silver Ramp is a mixed-use, multimodal transportation hub located in the heart of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s Terminal 1 campus. Built to address increasing parking demand and replace outdated car rental and transit facilities, the project is the capstone effort of a multi-year program to repurpose and optimize real-estate within the airport’s land-locked center.
The project program includes 5,000 parking spaces; new car rental customer service counters and pick-up and drop-off facilities; a transit center for local bus service, passenger and employee shuttles, ground transportation options, and new secure bicycle facilities; and direct connections to the blue Line LRT station as well as an existing underground people mover to the main terminal.
The building’s interior spaces were designed to promote a calming and intuitive passenger experience. Although located below the parking structure and far removed from the building perimeter on three sides, primary public spaces are flooded with natural daylight through a skylit, seven-story atrium. Passenger wayfinding is aided by clear lines of sight between the primary circulation spaces and transit and customer service counters. Glass enclosed elevator shafts and strategic floor openings bring daylight into the underground passageways where connections are made to the people mover and LRT station.
The exterior cladding of ombre-patterned terracotta baguettes – black, blue, grey, and white – were chosen to harmonize with the existing terminal architecture, and to evoke a structure that is both rooted to the ground while reflecting the moods of the sky. As ethereal as the building exterior is, the building’s interiors are based on a candid expression of the weight and orthogonal logic of the supporting structure. Consisting of a neutral palette of exposed concrete, aluminum frame glazing, and dark masonry walls, the building’s public spaces operate as a neutral background to the colorful ebb and flow of carts, people, and travel gear.