With direct, intuitive wayfinding and legible architectural space, the Washington-Dulles Automated Train System provides greater comfort and freedom for tens of thousands of daily travelers passing through the international entrance to the U.S. capital.
The Automated People Mover (APM) Airport Train System was instituted as a key part of an overall redevelopment program. With increasing passenger traffic, the airport needed a more efficient and effective replacement for the Saarinen fleet of Mobile Lounges, which had been in service since 1962 as part of the original master plan.
With the new system, passenger movement is direct and intuitive. At each station, the trains allow passengers to board from the center platform and exit to the side platforms. Stairs, escalators, and elevators, all oriented towards the future KPF-designed Tier 2 Concourse, connect the platform to the mezzanine level while moving passengers towards their final destination. Once completed, arriving and exiting passengers move in a straight, linear manner with minimum congestion.
Interior finishes consist of epoxy terrazzo floors, ceramic tile walls, and ceilings of light-weight brushed aluminum panels. Glass elements include custom railings and wall cladding on the escalator trusses and elevator towers. The light and somewhat reflective quality of the glass and texture and subtle coloration of the wall tiles contribute to the station’s architectural quality, serving to reflect artificial and natural light throughout the underground space.