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Rainbow's End


David Griggs & Scott Parsons

Concourse E - "Before Rainbow's End"
Concourse F - "After Rainbow's End"
Ticketing area floor - Rainbow's End

Integrated Art – Terrazzo

79,500 Square Feet - Starting In 2016

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Terminal 3 Departures Level


Terminal 3 at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is being modernized and reconfigured to provide passengers and visitors with a more efficient and pleasant experience airport.  A major component of the renovation is the replacement of carpeting with terrazzo.  The site for the Terrazzo Floor Design Project is the Departures Level of Terminal 3, including Concourses E and F. The artist team has created an original terrazzo floor design that visually aids with the organization of traffic circulation and way finding, and that provides for focal/meeting points.  The floor design is reflective of the region, visually pleasing, and creates a sense of place.


 Artist Statement:

Concept and Design: This artwork is a meditation on distances traveled and the larger human journey.
 It is inspired by the beauty of South Florida and the writing of John Steinbeck on his 4,000 mile voyage by boat to the Sea of Cortez and Loren Eiseley’s essay “The Star Thrower.”

“[…] it is a strange thing that most of the feeling we call religious, most of the mystical out crying which is one of the most prized and used and desired reactions of our species, is really the understanding and the attempt to say that man is related to the whole thing, related inextricably to all reality, known and unknowable. This is a simple thing to say, but the profound feeling of it made a Jesus, a St. Augustine, a St. Francis, a Roger Bacon, a Charles Darwin, and an Einstein. Each of them in his own tempo and with his own voice discovered and reaffirmed with astonishment the knowledge that all things are one thing and that one thing is all things—plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again.” - John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Concourse E: Beyond Rainbow’s End To truly see around you, one must be humbled by the beauty in the smallest of things and yet be reminded of one’s place in the universe by contemplating the vast distances and scale of the cosmos. We have chosen to include both the stars and starfish which John Steinbeck wrote about from his journey. Swirling galaxies and starfish appear at the beginning of the concourse. As you walk further along, you will encounter the smallness of diatoms, sand dollars, and abstracted starfish along the way. Numerous mirrored and mother-of-pearl shell pieces in the floor are meant to evoke the reflection of stars on the surface of the water. The end of the concourse concludes with an amazing array of starfish covering a beach. Our hope is that each visitor to the airport will connect his or her own travels to that of a larger sense of humanity’s immense and enchanted journey.

Concourse F: Before Rainbow’s End The design for the terrazzo floor in Concourse F begins with a poetic moment observing the sky’s reflection in water. As if in a dream, creatures float through the air while others appear to fly beneath the sea. At the point where Terminal 3 runs into the concourse, the terrazzo floor design shows the flight of the constellation Cygnus, “the Swan”, one of the many species of waterfowl that are found in Florida’s Everglades. From there, the Concourse F design continues to the west with the celestial constellation Ursa Minor, “the Bear”, also known as the Little Dipper. The North Star “Polaris” is one of the stars that make up the Little Dipper. Continuing further along the concourse, the terrazzo floor design becomes sparer and further refined, showing other constellations of the Northern Hemisphere, random stars, and references to the Milky Way. In this part of the concourse, manta rays fly through the sky, while imaginary 19th-century flying machines slowly pass by.

Terminal 3: Rainbow’s End The Terminal Three terrazzo floor design reflects the vastness, beauty and complexity of the environments of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and South Florida. The uniqueness of this ecotone is defined by the flow of water, from freshwater to saltwater; by the Everglades biome to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. We have represented this environmental diversity with imagery of the ocean, tide pools, marshes, beaches, everglades, and sky. We have placed three cultural overlays onto this natural imagery, representing technology, history, and the human capacity for mystery. Aeronautics charts and subatomic particle paths define the scientific and topographical spheres for modern flight. Historic maps from the 16th- and 17th-centuries convey a sense of history and discovery, including the great sailing ships of the past.

We want visitors who pass through this terminal to connect with this larger movement of history and discovery in their own adventures in South Florida and beyond. As airline passengers encounter the floor, a sense of mystery is enhanced through its scale and abstraction. In one area a school of hammerhead sharks pass silently through a cloud of dark blue waters, provoking a sense of beauty and the unknown. Starfish and stars appear together in reference to John Steinbeck’s writing from the Sea of Cortez. The story of humanity is one of a great journey: in a sense, we are all world travelers and explorers. We locate ourselves in the stories that evoke our comings and goings, affirmed by a painted sunset across the vast horizon of space and time.

 Floor Plan