As the first in a series of spotlight events celebrating winners of AIANY's Transportation and Infrastructure Design Excellence Awards, this program will focus on LaGuardia Airport's new Terminal B, a 2022 Merit Award winner in the Structures category.
The new terminal symbolizes the top-to-bottom transformation of one of the nation’s highest-profile airports. The transparent, fluid design of the 850,000-square-foot Arrivals and Departures Hall celebrates movement while conveying a strong civic presence. The headhouse acts as the terminal’s front door, with dramatic pedestrian bridges that link to midfield concourses and gates. Before beginning to work on Terminal B, the architects provided professional advisory services for the $8 billion rebuilding of LaGuardia, the first entirely new airport in the U.S. in more than 25 years. In coordination with the owner, operator, and other members of the client team and partner firms, the architects developed a cohesive, overarching design worthy of one of the world’s great cities. Incoming and outgoing passengers share soaring, airy, grand-scaled sequences punctuated by 60-foot-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the space with daylight. Indoor green space is modeled after New York’s urban pocket parks and includes lush landscaping and sculptural benches. The new terminal showcases custom public art installations curated by the Public Art Fund in partnership with LGP. As the world’s first airport to earn LEED v4 Gold certification, Terminal B has helped pioneer sustainability measures for civil infrastructure projects. With an Envision Platinum rating (the highest possible), it is the first project to earn recognition under v3 of the framework developed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.
445 5th Ave
New York, NY 10016
Laurie Balbo, LEED AP BD+C, LGA Program Manager, Port Authority of NY & NJ
Taewook Cha, Principal/Creative Director, Supermass Studio
Peter Ruggiero, LGA Design Principal, HOK
Indhira Figuereo, Senior Vice President/National Aviation Market Leader, WSP
Larry Giannechini, Deputy Director for Program & Operations, Public Arts Fund
Tom Grassi, FAIA, Project Director, HNTB
About the Speakers:
Laurie Balbo has over 35 years of progressive design and program management experience across the design, engineering, and environmental sectors, as well as project management experience specific to airports, marine ports, and environmental sciences. She spent 23 years with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, managing projects ranging from the JFK Air Traffic Control Tower to the EWR Monorail to the 50-foot-deepening of the New York Harbor. Balbo lived abroad for a decade, during which she worked as Director of the Environmental Business Unit for JACOBS Ireland, followed by a Program Manager role for the new award-winning passenger terminal at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan, the largest PPP in the Middle East. She rejoined the PANYNJ in 2017 as Program Director for the $8 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport, currently underway. Balbo is a registered New York State architect.
Taewook Cha is a registered landscape architect and founding principal of Supermass Studio, a landscape architecture practice based in New York City since 2011. With over 20 years of experience both in the United States and internationally, Cha has devoted most of his career to the innovation and advancement of public spaces in complex urban environments. His recently completed projects at Supermass Studio include Mulberry Commons Park in Newark, ETEC Innovation Center at University at Albany, Concourse Parks at LaGuardia Airport’s New Terminal B in New York, and the landscape fitout for the New Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport. Cha received his Master of Landscape Architecture degrees from Harvard University and Seoul National University, and earned a Bachelor of Agriculture in Horticulture from Korea University. He serves as an executive board member at ASLA-NY and a co-chair for its DEI Committee.
Tom Grassi has been working as an architect and project manager in New York City for almost 40 years in both the public and private sectors. He has served as planner, designer, and project manager for some of the region's most significant transportation-related construction projects. As a 30-year employee of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, he held key roles on the JFK and EWR AirTrain programs as well as the redevelopment of the WTC site. Grassi joined HNTB in 2016, which has given him the opportunity to expand his passion for designing and managing large transformative transportation projects at a national level. In recognition of his unique contributions to the profession and to society, Grassi was elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2017. In recognition of his technical excellence he was named an HNTB Fellow in 2023. He has enjoyed teaching about project management in a construction environment at NYU’s School of Professional Studies for 15 years.
Indhira Figuereo is a performance-driven professional with 22 years of continuous advancement and expertise providing program/project/construction management and civil engineering design services to airports such as LGA, JFK, EWR, PVD, HPN, SWF, TEB, ROC, SYR, ELM, and PBG, as well as airlines including Delta and JetBlue. She began her career providing civil engineering design to projects for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which gave her the foundation to manage multi-billion-dollar programs. She has been recognized with the ASCE Kavanaugh Service Award, ENR 20 under 40, Airport Business – ACC 40 under 40, and was named City Woman of the Year – CUNY and Manhattan EDC Woman of the Year.
Indhira has proven successful providing design, planning, program management and environmental services in the management of high-occupancy/utilization spaces, multi-agency and stakeholder coordination, resiliency, sustainability and Federal and State grant funding compliance, construction management, and logistics. She offers airport clients specialized expertise in the development, design and construction oversight of aviation airside, landside and terminal facilities. She has focused on delivering exceptional customer service to our aviation clients, managing the customer experience, maintaining quality control, and overall technical responsibility. Her diverse experience culminate in her current role as National Aviation Market Leader and is responsible for understanding and delivering on our airport clients’ complex visions.
Peter Ruggiero is driven by a profound curiosity about how the world works. As an architect and urban designer, his interest in the city and the urban role of buildings has always fueled his inquiries. A champion of infrastructure as a civic celebration and social responsibility, Ruggiero believes that infrastructure should be culturally significant and embrace design beyond the practical needs. This conviction may be traced to his fond memories of watching the construction of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge from the Brooklyn shoreline as a young child.
Larry Giannechini is Deputy Director for Programs & Operations with the Public Art Fund, an independent, non-profit arts organization dedicated to bringing dynamic contemporary art to a broad audience in New York City and beyond by mounting ambitious free exhibitions of international scope and impact that offer the public powerful experiences with art and the urban environment.
With over 10 years of experience developing and designing high quality spaces for the public, Larry has a core knowledge of project design, construction, and management. A Professional Engineer, Larry's background in design and construction has led him to providing project management services for large-scale sculptural and art installations in New York City and abroad.
AIANY Transportation and Infrastructure Committee