Jackson Hole Airport Entry

Submitted by Elizabeth Best

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Client: Jackson Hole Airport- Jim Elwood

Location: Jackson, WY, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $878,200

Project Team

Landscape Architect

Mike Wonenberg

G Brown Design

Artist

Bart Walter

Bart Walter: Sculptor

Overview

The Jackson Hole Airport Entry was developed to create an iconic welcome to visitors of the only commercial airport located within a U.S. National Park. The airport, located within Grand Teton National Park, previously welcomed visitors with a highway
sign and entry drive that terminated into a large parking lot. The project includes a monumental bronze bronco and rider sculpture by Bart Walter set in a landscape of native plant materials and rock outcroppings carefully placed at the terminus of the entry drive and framed by entry signs set into rock formations.

Goals

The main purpose of the project was to create a welcoming entry to the airport that would be worthy of the surrounding beauty of the Tetons and landscape of Grand Teton National Park. The project also provided an opportunity to improve wayfinding and traffic circulation at the airport. The entry needed to create an iconic experience evocative of the State of Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park. The commissioned artwork sculptures reflect the history and character of the area, and were critical to the project. It was also very important to develop the project in a manner that would blur the boundary of the airport footprint and the Park. The project is of high importance to the airport, Jackson Hole, and the State of Wyoming as the airport is the busiest in Wyoming serving over 300,000 passengers each year.

Process

The Landscape Architect (G. Brown Design) worked closely with artist Bart Walter who was commissioned by the Jackson Hole Airport to develop an art
piece that would welcome visitors.The Landscape Architect was hired by the airport to collaborate with the artist to turn the concept into reality. The Landscape Architect worked with the artist to further develop the initial concept,
develop the site planning and design, and create construction documents for the project. Through the collaboration between the Landscape Architect and artist, what initially started as an entry feature located within a single traffic circle, evolved to include signage, additional rock formations, and plantings on each side of the entry drive in an effort to create a prominent focal point at the terminus of the drive. The landscape architect’s work and responsibilities also included:
 Close coordination with the National Park Service and traffic engineers make sure the project met strict aesthetic and safety requirements.
 Developing 3D models and rendered site plans to be used as a tool to analyze and determine the optimum placement and viewing angle for the
artists sculpture.
 Researching and selecting natural stone materials for the rock outcropping formations that would closely replicate those found
in the area.

Additional Information

The iconic and attractive entry reflects the character of Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, and the Jackson Hole area. This is important in leaving a positive and lasting impression on visitor’s when they visit. The project increases functionality by simplifying the traffic pattern and wayfinding at the airport, making it more intuitive for visitors, minimizing traffic congestion, and improving safety. The project’s native plantings and natural materials promote sustainability, preserve the natural ecosystem, and use less water. Lighting meets “Night Sky” requirements while showcasing the sculpture, lighting signage, and providing safety and security.