Sitting on a plateau in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, Telluride Regional Airport serves as a bucolic welcome for jetsetters and general aviators flying to and from the popular ski and hiking town in Southwestern Colorado.
Now, the airport’s terminal offers its guests a chance to take in the mountain views around them in a general aviation lounge that feels more ski chalet than staging area. Telluride Regional Airport celebrated the grand opening of the new, RS&H-designed lounge in late December.
“The charge from the airport was to provide general aviation clients with a level of customer experience that was commensurate with other ski destinations,” said RS&H aviation architect Christopher Rehwoldt. “Our goal was to transform their clients’ first and last impression of Telluride.”
The 700-sqare-foot addition to the terminal features floor-to-ceiling windows trimmed in ribbons of exterior aluminum shades, giving guests an unobstructed view of the runway against the backdrop of Mount Wilson and Sunshine Mountain. Inside, modern leather couches and lounge chairs – complete with accompanying coffee and end tables – face out the windows and around a fireplace made from stone quarried on the airport property.
The local stone, exposed heavy timber and modern aluminum details all harmonize in the design language, which the RS&H team arrived at after a design charrette at the firm’s Denver office.
“We drew inspiration from both the remote, rustic location and the atmosphere of mountain resorts,” Rehwoldt said. “We were really able to combine the warmth of the local, natural materials and exposed timber structure with a large expanse of windows, while expressing the clean, contemporary aesthetic of a modern airport.”
Telluride Regional Airport is the highest commercial airport in North America, perched in the San Juan Mountains, making it an amazing place to fly into, said Michael Becker, RS&H’s project manager and a general aviation pilot. The new general aviation terminal lounge only adds to the allure.
“The Airport has always had impeccable aircraft line services, and now passengers and pilots traveling through the renovated terminal building will be greeted by a newly upgraded and enhanced facility,” Becker said. “This renovation significantly enhances the passenger and pilot amenities, and will deliver an improved passenger experience.
“The Telluride community is unarguably a world-class location, and now their Airport Terminal Building is the premier gateway residents, and visitor’s desire.”