SDIA Retail and Interior Design Master Plan

Mastering the Art of Airports

In 1998, our team set out to help the airport staff reach its goal to master the art of airports. To do this, Architectural Alliance and our firm teamed on the interior design and retail master plan, which was followed by two as-needed architectural service contracts. The result of this collaboration was branding and master planning efforts that identified a theme and plan to unite the look of all three terminals. Today, the theme of sun, sand and sea can be experienced throughout the major projects completed as part of the Green Build, the largest improvement program in the Airport’s history. The team also worked with airport staff to identify the right mix of retail, service and restaurant uses to: service traveler needs; create activity nodes; provide an environment unique to San Diego; and to increase airport revenue.

The Tenant Design Manual was also refined for use by the eighty new tenant concessions that helped bring the Green Build to life. Tenants were selected based on their ability to develop store designs that were unique to San Diego and San Diegans love of the outdoors. This design philosophy to bring the outdoors inside resulted in improvements such as the Sunset Dining Cove with floor to ceiling glazing that provides views of the airfield and Point Loma, as well as the elevated passenger loading area with its field of white sail-like tensile structures. Mastering the Art of Airports is not just a dream, but a reality for San Diego International Airport.



  • In-Town Architectural Support
  • Existing Conditions Analysis
  • Airport Branding
  • Tenant Design Guidelines


San Diego County
Regional Airport Authority
Architectural Alliance


San Diego International Airport
San Diego, California