Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is still undergoing its modernization program but a classic look will complement its new appearance with the debut of a new stained glass wall.
The east arrivals plaza on the north curb is the site of the art installation by Ken Toney, an Arizona glass artist who for decades created architectural stained glass installations. Toney is responsible for the 1,400-square-foot stained glass ceiling that was in Terminal 3 from when it opened in 1979 to when that section of the terminal closed for modernization in late 2016.
Now, the glass installation lives again as it is repurposed for this new artwork.
Toney is known for the creation of uniquely designed stained glass windows in several Phoenix-area churches and the original Maricopa County Courthouse.
The type of art glass Toney uses is called Dalle de verre, which is also known as slab glass. The material is substantial: It’s produced by casting molten glass into 1-inch-thick slabs, 8-by-12 inches. The edges are often chipped or faceted to increase the reflection or refraction of light passing through. Glass window and wall panels are fabricated by arranging cut shapes of slab glass into the desired pattern and then a matrix of epoxy, silica and aggregate is poured between the pieces to adhere them together. Once dried and cured, the panels are strong and durable and can be arranged in a metal framework.
The geometric design of the new stained glass wall is in the same symmetrical arrangement as when it was a ceiling inside Terminal 3. It will now be a major way-finding exterior element, viewable on the north curb of the terminal.
This installation is a part of the permanent Phoenix Airport Museum collection, which, at more than 900 pieces, is one of the largest airport art collections in the United States.