DCA Concourse E

Concourse E at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) – Arlington, VA

Concourse E at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is part of MWAA’s Project Journey. The new 225,000 sq-ft concourse services passengers at 14 new gates and is a two-level steel structure with a partial 15,000 sq-ft third level housing airline lounges. Architecturally exposed structural steel elements enhance the space and complement the existing Cesar Pelli-designed structure. Two structurally isolated buildings form an L-shaped footprint:

  • The Connector Building, linking Concourse E to National Hall of Terminal 2;
  • Concourse E, extending east toward the Potomac River, replacing the dreaded Gate 35X.

The Pier End features six multifaceted domes aesthetically consistent with the pier domes at the existing concourses. Design of the domes incorporates two tension rings, HSS and custom box-shaped connection elements, and “tree branches” extending from round columns.

The Centrum, located at the end of the Connector Building, is a two-story circulation space highlighted by an expansive curtain wall, with a scenic view of Washington, DC, and a large trapezoidal clerestory, illuminating natural light from above. The Centrum comprises exposed two-story vertical ladder trusses, cruciform columns, and 100-foot long Vierendeel trusses.

Removal of an existing electrical substation roof was required to provide a continuous concourse floor level. Woods • Peacock detailed a roof removal sequence incorporating a temporary bridge crane to simplify demolition, which was key to maintaining the project schedule and the ongoing substation operations.

The new concourse design includes large glass walls, several clerestories, extensive exposed steel, and structures of interesting shapes. The long span roof trusses, ladder trusses, and large domes provided an efficient design that limited the amount of steel used, while also providing comfortable, inviting, and modern open spaces. The unusual shape of the exposed “tree branches” could spark inquisitive minds visiting the concourse as well as enhancing the public awareness of the role of structural engineering.

  • Construction cost: $280 million
  • Size: 225,000 SF

Structural Engineers Association Metropolitan Washington (SEA-MW) 2023 Outstanding Award Winner for New Construction Over $100 million and ACEC Metropolitan Washington 2022-2023 Engineering Excellence Honor Award Winner.