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ROMULUS, MI-SmithGroup, a national architecture, engineering and planning firm, is flying high after winning a prestigious award for its design of the new McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport.

The latest honor, the company’s 14th for the terminal’s design, is an international interior lighting award from the International Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA).

SmithGroup won the competition’s highest ‘Award of Distinction’ for its design of the terminal’s passenger tunnel connecting the east and west concourses. The tunnel features custom-designed LED technology and materials to create an ever-changing light, sound, and art-filled sensory experience.

The 2 million sf terminal opened in February 2002 and was part of a $1.2 billion airport expansion at the nation’s sixth busiest airport. The complex is Northwest Airlines’ largest hub, with 97 gates accommodating an average of 80,000 passengers per day from around the world.

“The Northwest WorldGateway is definitely one of the most recognized, award-wining projects in our 150-year history,” said Carl Roehling, president & CEO of SmithGroup. “We’re proud to have designed a terminal that has quickly become a benchmark for future international airport design and renovation.”

Said Jim Greenwald, Northwest Airlines’ VP of facilities and airport affairs: “The SmithGroup design ensured millions of passengers annually have a pleasant experience when traveling through our facility. Ease of connection, a one-of-a-kind Express Tram system, and the best international-to-domestic hub connection in the same building are just a few of the many passenger–friendly features in this world-class terminal.”

In addition to the latest award from the IESNA, design awards garnered by SmithGroup for its design of the terminal include those from the American Institute of Architects, the American Institute of Steel Construction, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, American Council for Engineering Companies, and Steel Joist Institute.

SmithGroup designers also won the international Dupont Antron Design Award for their innovative use of carpet within the terminal’s passenger hold rooms. In December 2002, the terminal graced the cover of Interior Design magazine for its “Best of 2002″ issue.

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