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Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport by Graham Baba Architects

Graham Baba Architects recently completed their latest project in Sea-Tac, Washington

Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport by Graham Baba Architects
Photography by © Spearhead

Graham Baba Architects recently completed their latest project in Sea-Tac, Washington – the Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge at SeaTac International Airport. The materially rich palette takes its inspiration from the airline company’s roots in the Pacific Northwest. It features a number of custom fabricated elements. Take a look at the complete story after the jump.

Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport by Graham Baba Architects
Photography by © Spearhead

From the architects: At the Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport, the door is always open. Travelers seek lounges as an escape from the anxiety, noise, and commotion of the concourse. Traditionally, airport lounges catered to this desire by emphasizing exclusivity: sleek, business-oriented safe havens that prioritized the needs of a privileged swath of travelers. Alaska Airlines sought to transform the lounge typology by providing a warm, welcoming space where all guests could find refuge – to relax, work, refuel, and connect – a home-away-from-home with a sense of place deeply rooted in the Pacific Northwest.

Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport by Graham Baba Architects
Photography by © Andrew Pogue

Programmatically, the lounge is conceived in four zones: Come In, an approachable entry; Help Yourself, a casual bistro; Take a Breath, a haven for peaceful relaxation; and Cut Loose, a cozy bar atmosphere. Lightly separated with an array of oak and twisted metal screens, the spaces flow together. Exploration elicits surprise and discovery: each space has its own distinct furnishings, acoustic properties, floor and ceiling materials, and light quality. By providing a range of experiences, each guest will find a place they feel at home.

Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport by Graham Baba Architects
Photography by © Andrew Pogue

The entry sequence begins at concourse level. A fifty-foot-wide window announces the lounge’s presence and provides enticing glimpses of the spaces within. Oak frames march along the corridor, guiding guests to a threshold. A porous transition with a beckoning view of the large central fireplace serves as an invitation to enter. Concierges greet guests from a gently compressed space that features a sculptural wood desk and an illuminated topographical screen. A wall of twenty-foot-tall windows presents views of the runways, downtown Seattle, the Olympic mountain range, and Mt. Rainier.

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Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport by Graham Baba Architects
Photography by © Andrew Pogue

Entering Take a Breath, the noise and bustle of the concourse fade away. Guests may enjoy views of the runways and the landscape beyond from various seating options, designed for the comfort of both individuals or groups. High-backed, tufted fabric banquettes wind through the zone, creating semi-private nooks. Custom-designed chaise lounge recliners encourage relaxation and contemplation. Lighting levels are lowered, and sound-absorbing elements ensure auditory comfort.

Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport by Graham Baba Architects
Photography by © Andrew Pogue

Help Yourself occupies the center of the lounge and is the heart of the venue. A monolithic bistro counter serves as a central platform with food and drink offerings on all sides, spurring conversation with baristas for a flavor of Seattle’s coffee shop culture. Leather banquettes, movable tables, and fixed counters offer flexibility for families or solo travelers. Moments of intimacy are possible, despite the 100-seat capacity.

Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge in SeaTac International Airport by Graham Baba Architects
Photography by © Andrew Pogue

Cut Loose allows guests to unwind and connect with fellow travelers. The oval-shaped, walnut-topped bar serves as a focal point, with illuminated “airplane bottles” as a bar back display. End-grain oak floors are dyed to create a “rug” around the bar, blurring the vertical transition into the indigo-dyed bar front.

Local fabricators created custom elements throughout the space, including the light fixtures that recall jet engines and the recycled cardboard screens at the entry. By showcasing local and regional fabricators and artists, Alaska Airlines honors their West Coast heritage and provides guests with a meaningful connection to the Seattle region.

Graham Baba Architects design team
Brett Baba
Maureen O’Leary
Francesco Borghesi
Andy Brown
Katie Moeller

Project team
Design Architect: Graham Baba Architects
Executive Architect: SRG Partnership
Interior Design: Charlie Hellstern in collaboration with Graham Baba Architects
Lighting Design: Niteo
Contractor: Hensel Phelps
Entry desk fabrication: Spearhead

Entry art wall: Graypants
Lighting fabricator: Resolute Lighting

Photography:  Andrew Pogue, Graham Baba Architects, Spearhead (fabrication photos)

Find more projects by Graham Baba Architects: grahambabaarchitects.com

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