Likened to a giant ruby-red boomerang or an intergalactic spaceship, Boston Logan International Airport’s $640-million modernized Terminal E opened Nov. 14, expanding the international terminal to 390,000 sq ft by adding four additional gates and amenities.

Besides giving departing passengers panoramic views of Boston’s skyline, the enormous prismatic painted roof designed by AECOM and luis vidal + architects was patented after being created for the project by firm President Luis Vidal at Monopol Colors, the Swiss paint laboratory. The project team says the roof—which subtly changes in hue under different lighting conditions—marks the first time prismatic paint has been used on an airport facade. 

“Boston is one of the most elegant and welcoming cities in the world,” said Vidal, also luis vidal + architects founding partner, in a statement. “It was important to our entire design team that these words become part of the DNA of Logan’s new Terminal E."

He added: "The result is a bold, striking building designed with sustainable principles and focused on providing a unique, comfortable and healthy environment for passengers and workers alike.”

Boston-based Suffolk Construction served as construction manager on the project. Sam Sleiman, its executive vice president of national transportation operations, and former director of capital programs and environmental affairs at the Massachusetts Port Authority, called the project "a beacon that welcomes international travelers to Boston and represents the airport of the future."  

Sleiman said the project team overcame several challenges to transform "this sophisticated and iconic design vision into reality.” These include  the pandemic disruptions and working in an active airport. That in turn demanded heightened levels of collaboration, transparency and planning among stakeholders.

Targeting LEED Gold certification, the design team says it "used extensive modeling” to “sensibly manage solar gain" to maximize daylight throughout the year. The team also integrated photovoltaic glass.

For resilience, the terminal's critical infrastructure is elevated above the flood plain. The roof and building envelope go beyond code minimums to withstand snow, ice, rainwater and high winds from a 500-year storm.

“Massport conceived the new Terminal E as a modern, iconic, international terminal that elevates Logan airport’s reputation for providing an enhanced passenger experience,” said Terry Rookard, a principal architect and senior vice president at AECOM.