Terminal Silhouettes: PHL



PHL was an intricate terminal to draw, for a few reasons.

First, its baggage claims are on the other side of a road and a train track from its ticketing areas, and partially underneath the parking garages. This adds an additional building for each terminal and a number of skybridges, plus train stations for that train track.

But the parking garages pose a greater problem, because I don’t normally include parking structures in my terminal silhouettes unless they’re integral to the terminal design (for example, PHX or IAH). In this case, since the baggage claim areas are only partially overlapping the parking structures, I decided to leave out the parking. However, that meant I had to do a lot more research into the shape of the baggage claim buildings (from official airport maps and traveler photos) because I couldn’t see the entire baggage claim building in the satellite imagery.

Second, none of the concourses are perpendicular to the main terminal structure, nor are any of them parallel to each other. (Even concourses A East and A West on the left side of the diagram, which look parallel, are a few degrees different from each other.) This meant that I had to do a lot of rotation of the imagery to be able to use horizontal and vertical guides and the rectangle tool. For some smaller portions of the facility, I just used angled guides and the straight line tool, which are a bit more of a pain to use in Inkscape than simply doing unions of rectangles.

Still, overall, I really like the way this terminal turned out. Its proportions are nice (it’s not overly long in one direction), and it’s relatively compact so it’s easy to take in all at once.  The concourses create a pleasing fan shape, as well.



Terminal Silhouettes: COS



COS was a very easy terminal to draw; everything was at right or 45º angles and there were no curves.

Normally, I rotate the terminal while I’m working on it so the majority of parallel lines are either completely horizontal or vertical; this allows me to draw large portions of the terminal by creating overlapping rectangles and then combining them with the Union tool, which is much faster than drawing a polygon for many building silhouettes, and then I rotate it back to its natural orientation (north is up on all of my silhouettes). However, to make this drawing even easier, the terminal is naturally oriented due north/south, so I didn’t even need to rotate the terminal.