Dallas, TX — BOKA Powell LLC, a Dallas-based architecture and design firm, has completed master planning and design on a build-to-suit headquarters expansion for Southwest Airlines at Love Field. The $100 million, 490,000 square foot, four-story “Training and Operational Support” building opened this spring, and can accommodate up to 2,500 employees.
>View Southwest Airlines Corporate Headquarters Expansion project page
The building’s first two floors are dedicated to training, and include collaborative “culture centers” and a mock terminal. A mechanized fuselage provides realistic situational training exercises for flight crew. Natural light floods common spaces through four-story full-height windows and skylights.
“We designed the first two floors for supreme connectivity, with wide open canyons and vertical links between floors. The dramatic, yet simple lobby opens up into a training facility reminiscent of a university campus,” said John Orfield, principal at BOKA Powell.
Open offices feature flexible furniture systems to support impromptu touch-downs. Glass-front conference rooms align on a center axis between office pods to facilitate openness and team collaboration. Open stairways provide vertical circulation that offer views into meeting and training spaces, creating a feeling of connectedness across the facility.
“The building’s design introduces curved forms evocative of movement and the aerodynamics of aircraft, with free-flowing interior spaces,” continued Orfield. “Through the integration of imagery and color, we’ve sought to create an environment that supports Southwest’s culture of collaboration, fun and flexibility in a highly secure structure.”
Employees enjoy relaxed, coffee-shop-style break rooms and comfortable, creative breakout spaces in close proximity to work stations. Common spaces include a cafeteria, dining area and outdoor patio.
The building features a metal skin and raised floor, providing convenient access to communication cabling, power supply and telephone data for future modifications and upgrades. Its “hardened” writing enables Southwest Airlines to maintain uninterrupted flight operations in all types of weather and disaster situations.
BOKA Powell provided master planning, exterior and interior design services for the Southwest headquarters expansion, working with general contractor Manhattan Construction.