Back Elevating the airport terminal restroom to new heights

DFW Terminal D South

Project DFW Terminal D South
Client Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Sector Travel
Location Texas
Architect Luis Vidal Architects

Project overview

A new expansion for American Airlines adds 61,000 square feet of concourse space and four new gates to the busiest terminal at the Dallas Fort Worth airport. The addition, completed during the pandemic and opened in May 2021, was designed to reduce passenger stress and enhance the boarding process. A heavy emphasis on technology rounds out the concept, both to aid facility staff in providing a more seamless experience and to remove guesswork from the passenger interface.

The brief

The terminal addition includes two new restroom areas, designed as open plan alcoves off two wide, gender-separated hallways, with hand-washing vestibules at either end. The open plan design echoes the lounge-like structure of seating in the terminal, with additional mothering rooms and small family restrooms for those guests who require more privacy. These busy restrooms needed to be easy to maintain and clean while presenting a modern, minimalist face to the discerning clientele of a terminal housing several high-end airline lounges and a plethora of international travelers.

The solution

In the restrooms, the design’s emphasis on technology plays out twofold. First, sensor lights are placed above each stall, shining red or green to indicate at a glance which stalls are available or occupied. The second innovation is the implementation, with The Splash Lab, of smart technology for hand washing supplies.

An IOT network connects the soap dispensers on a single feed and alerts facility staff when levels are falling. The soap is then easily replaced from a single reservoir to ensure a continued supply for the busy terminal, and eliminating the need for guests to bounce around to several stations in search of a functioning soap dispenser.

TSL’s new Channel System fixtures offer the ease of one-two-three hand washing and drying over basins, and are mounted to a custom Monolith C Series basin with rear console to accommodate the soap system. The modular design of the solid surface sink allows for an integrated trough with basins at two heights for ADA compliance. The effect is a clean, modern space with an easy flow of foot traffic.

The Splash Lab has well crafted and beautifully designed products. I always go to them first to create a holistically designed restroom.
Brent Otsuka, Manager of Interior Design Fentress Architects • Architecture practice

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