Newark International Airport’s Renovation Showpiece


Kaedama is the showpiece of the renovation of Newark International Airport’s United Terminal C. Kaedama features OTG’s desire for an experience-based restaurant, and prominently centralizes a custom, transparent 28-foot-tall LED sculpture with more than 17,000 nodes on a flowing and functional 40-foot architectural structure.

Nominating Company: Design Communications Ltd., Boston, Massachusetts
Venue: Kaedama, New York, New York
Project: Kaedama restaurant in Newark Intl. Airport
Category: Transportation

OTG approached Design Communications Ltd. (DCL) with Rockwell’s concept of a large sculptural form that would be the centerpiece for this food court and specifically house the iconic Kaedama restaurant. With only the renderings in hand, DCL began the process of building a dynamic media sculpture within the confines of an airport. This drew on a skill set that DCL has used in the past, creating other large installations, but never to quite the degree or with the particular challenges that were presented working in a secure area.

In addition to the strictly limited access, there were a variety of stringent architectural requirements that had to be incorporated into the design such as allowing for significant lateral wind load even though this is an interior installation. There were also maximum floor loads that came into play, whereby cranes and lifts of a certain size were not allowed. Also, there were challenges associated with creating a free-form LED screen that could be blended into itself and be controlled as a single piece. Of course, the lab at Rockwell Group had to create custom content for a screen that had no beginning and no end. Finally, the control equipment for the sculpture had to be concealed, but not be too distant, allowing for crisp transmission of data to the pixel mesh.

DCL worked through the process of meeting the architectural requirements put forward by the port authority while still preserving the intent of the design. Working around the floor load requirements, the structure itself was assembled in prefabricated pieces to minimize impact on the surrounding food court. The media element of the sculpture was built with ease-of-work in mind, allowing the content creation team to quickly test new content on the fly. Working with Newark Airport and United Airlines, we were able to incorporate the control system for the pixel mesh directly below the restaurant in a small footprint server room.

With a complex project from a design, engineering and installation standpoint, DCL’s expert collaboration and experience with OTG and designer Rockwell Group proved to be a successful partnership. Nearly identical to the design’s intent, DCL custom-fabricated Newark’s Terminal C showpiece that immerses travelers into an inviting and dynamic environment.

Rockwell Group – Designer
General Contractor – Holt Construction
Architect – DNA
Client – OTG Management

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