Artist James Carpenter worked with the airport design team to create a calm and beautiful passage along the bridge connecting PSHIA's Terminal 3 to its north concourse and gates. The resulting window wall –193 feet in length – doubles as a soft-focus screen, featuring the luminous daylight tones and colors of Arizona's landscape and sky. “At a key transition in the airport," said Carpenter, “the artwork transforms the incoming daylight into a soft volumetric expression of Phoenix's desert light.. Effects and colors change as the sun moves across the sky throughout the day and seasons. In late afternoons the edges of the window glass refract rainbow splashes along the floor and wall. Specialized lighting makes the installation visible to curbside drivers and passengers at night.
In addition to designing the window-wall installation, JCDA selected the dark tones of the terrazzo floor, ceiling and wall surfaces inside the bridge corridor to enhance the impact of the luminous window wall.
Phoenix Light Passage is one of four major public art projects built as part of the Terminal 3 modernization. The others are located in the terminals' East arrivals atrium, on the passenger bridge to the south concourse, and the West plaza.
James Carpenter is an award-winning American artist whose design firm, JCDA, is renowned worldwide for its distinctive fusion of art, engineering and natural light. His numerous awards include the National Environmental Design Award from the Smithsonian Institution and the American Institute of Architects Honor Award. Mr. Carpenter received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004 and "The Daylight Award" from the Villum and Velux Foundations in 2010.