Duo-Gard’s Translucent Canopies Help Expand Idaho’s Friedman Memorial Airport

A hint of antiquity with contemporary flair, akin to the nearby Sun Valley resort town it serves, is the way designer Matt Dubbe describes the new terminal entrance to the Friedman Memorial Airport renovation in Hailey, Idaho.

The renovation and expansion by Mead & Hunt in Minneapolis has taken the rural airport that opened in 1932 from 14,000 square feet to 42,800 square feet. Meeting FAA requirements to relocate parking out of the taxiway and fix the runway safety area opened the possibilities for “a real entrance,” said Dubbe, AIA LEED AP NCARB and National Market Leader, Architecture.

That entrance integrates native stone, rustic wood and steel panels which will oxidize naturally to a weathered look. An expanse of glass allows passengers to gaze all the way through to the spectacular Central Idaho Rockies behind the terminal. Flanking the entrance are two translucent canopies, each 18 feet long by 15 feet deep, engineered by Duo-Gard.

The canopies slant upward slightly, evoking a winged Pegasus in flight, a popular treatment out West, said Dubbe. He added that the entrance is intended to “give the clear idea of a front door.” That door leads to a facility filled with art by regional artists.

The material for the canopies is 25mm translucent multiwall polycarbonate in an opal tint. “This material diffuses the light and enhances the textures included in the exterior,” Dubbe said. The system is Duo-Gard’s Series 3000 BPC Long Span, engineered for structural strength. Besides simply providing weather protection, the canopies had to meet specific performance parameters, said Dubbe, and because this was a public project, the architects had to provide justification for their use of exterior materials.

“Duo-Gard’s polycarbonate system met all the functional and financial parameters,” he added, citing the collaboration with Duo-Gard engineers to ensure understanding of the excessive snow loads required in excess of 100 psf.

The translucent canopies add an attractive aesthetic. “People enjoy seeing the tracking of light,”
Dubbe said. “The canopies were a welcome addition and have been very well-received.” The airport also has two other Duo-Gard canopies, one at the back entrance and baggage handling area measuring 8 feet by 6 feet and another of 10 feet by 6 feet at the entrance vestibule.

Friedman Memorial is the third collaboration of this team. Duo-Gard’s patented, award-winning Sleekline canopies are part of the Eastern Iowa Regional Airport and the Central Nebraska Regional Airport, both designed by Mead & Hunt.

Photo Credit: Conrad Brothers