Marlon Blackwell Architects unveils "sentinel" design for air traffic control tower in Columbus

Arkansas architecture studio Marlon Blackwell Architects has unveiled designs for an air traffic control tower for Columbus Municipal Airport in Indiana.

At 129 feet tall (39 metres), the project will replace an existing 80-year-old, 78-foot-tall (23 metre) tower on the airport’s grounds. Designs include the addition of a lawn for public programming.

Marlon Blackwell Architects has unveiled designs of an air traffic control tower in Indiana

Marlon Blackwell Architects founder Marlon Blackwell said he’d like the tower to serve as a “beacon” of design heritage, referencing the array of modernist architecture constructed in the town in the 20th century.

“We are so honored to have been selected to contribute to the architectural legacy of Columbus,” said Blackwell.

Air traffic control tower
Its shape was informed by the “aerodynamic lines of an aircraft”

“More than a piece of infrastructure, our hope is that the new Columbus Municipal Airport Air Traffic Control Tower will become a beacon of Columbus’s architectural and design heritage, that will mark a key gateway into the city.”

Renderings of the structure picture a flat, geometric steel and aluminium-clad tower divided into recurrent layers. A viewing area divides the body of the tower and an uppermost volume.

“The design is inspired by the aerodynamic lines of an aircraft, shifting and undulating as one moves around the building,” said the team. “Clad in aluminium and stainless steel, the tower will act both as a sentinel and a beacon for the community.”

The project is funded in part by the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program and the City of Columbus.

Marlon Blackwell air traffic control tower
It will be located at the Columbus Municipal Airport

Construction on the tower is planned to begin in April 2025.

Recently, PAU was selected to design a new generation of air traffic control towers across the US and Marlon Blackwell was selected to design the Global War on Terrorism Memorial in Washington DC.

The images are courtesy of Conica

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