Project Spotlight: Capturing the Spirit of New Orleans

It’s Mardi Gras time (or at least “Yardi Gras” this year thanks to COVID-19!), so we thought we’d take a peak at a recent project that features Guardian 275® translucent panels – the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY). Officially opened in November of 2019, the $1 billion, and nearly 1 million square foot terminal, designed with undulating canopies, curved walls and sparkling floors, was meant to pay homage to the twists and turns of the Mississippi River and provide a memorable experience for those passing through.

The facility was designed by architect Cesar Pelli, along with the Crescent City Aviation Team, and focuses on open spaces and plenty of natural light. Part of this plan includes Guardian 275® translucent wall panels that ring around the tops of the walls in gate and walkway areas, helping to provide glare-free natural light to the spaces while glass glazing at eye level allows for views of the surrounding gates, taxiways and runways.

In an interview by The Advocate (, Charlie Prewitt, project executive for the construction management team, stated that “The building is designed to be a work of art in itself. There are hardly any square corners… You don’t feel walled in because of the shape and openness of it.” Erin Burns, director of communications of the New Orleans Aviation Board, adds “We wanted a modern look that captured the uniqueness of the region. Each side of the building is curved to bring in the curves of the Delta.”

The designers also welcomed in local vendors and other touches of New Orleans – including live music – that will echo the spirit of New Orleans and welcome visitors as soon as they step off the plane. “It will be a memorable traveler experience that reflects New Orleans and the region’s unique history, culture, character, music and food,” said Mark Shoemaker, principal architect at Pelli Clarke Pelli.

If you’re interested in adding natural light to your next project, contact Major Industries. From Guardian 275® translucent panel systems like the ones used here to Auburn® glass skylights and IlluminPC™ polycarbonate multi-wall systems, we can find the right fit for your daylighting challenges.