Photo Credit: Brian McDonald

AIA Rhode Island, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects honored Northeast Collaborative Architects (NCA) with a design award for the Interlink in Warwick, R.I. The annual competition celebrates outstanding works of architecture from Rhode Island architects and honors the project teams and clients who work with them.

Glenn R. Gardiner, AIA, LEED AP says, “NCA is honored to receive the AIA-RI awards. Interlink is the Northeast’s first intermodal transportation center connecting air travelers with trains, buses, passengers and rental car transportation. And Fort Adams Redoubt Jail promotes historic preservation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings as the ultimate recycling.”

Interlink earned the 2012 Merit Award in the Commercial and Industrial category. Interlink positions Rhode Island as a leader in sustainable development by expanding public transportation, fueling economic recovery and offering future development opportunities, placing T.F. Green Airport among the top airports in New England’s highly competitive market.

Rhode Island Airport Corporation and Rhode Island Department of Transportation directed the program and oversaw construction of this $267 million project. The multi-tiered collaborative effort revitalizes a blighted airport parcel and features a dynamic elevated glass- enclosed Skywalk that rises 35 feet above the ground and spans a quarter-mile. Passengers arriving at T.F. Green Airport enjoy an unimpeded six-minute connection to the train station, rental car facility, and parking garage on moving walkways that transport travelers 100 feet per minute.

The 25,000 square foot Circulation Hub and Bridge connects the airports to the train station via the new Skywalk. The Terminal End Bridge spans two levels of arriving and departing traffic, thereby creating a new gateway to the airport. Interlink’s exterior design references the convergence of air and rail transportation. The interior design articulates the motion of ocean and air currents. Like wind and waves, horizontal bands of glass vary in color, size and intensity to evoke a serene environment.

Sculptured ceilings and colorful rubber flooring echo the motion by undulation in long flowing forms throughout Interlink’s expanse. Contrasting colors indicative of daybreak and dusk punctuate the ceiling with bold hues. A vertical butt-glazed curtain wall system provides panoramic views of airplanes landing and taking off. The transparent green façade mirrors the original airport terminal making a thematic change from green to blue glazing as it reaches the new rental car garage and train station. The skywalk’s stair tower or knuckle acts as a transition point between airplane and train and the Terminal End Bridge’s stair lowers recalls Rhode Island’s sailing heritage.