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Portland Airport’s Iconic Teal Carpet Installed In New Terminal

Portland International Airport‘s original beloved carpet pattern is set to make a comeback when the airport’s new terminal opens later this year, as Oregon Live reports.

The original carpet, pictured at Concourse D in 2007, was designed by SRG Architects in 1987. M.O. Stevens CC

An 80s Classic and Icon

Installed in 1988 and known for its distinctive ’80s teal design with blue, purple, and red lines, this floor covering has become a cult icon. Despite being replaced in 2015 with a less popular design, the original carpet inspired fans.

The #pdxcarpet hashtag on Instagram attracted over 20,000 photo posts, with visitors taking photos of their feet on the iconic carpet. Its pattern is featured on multiple products to satisfy fan nostalgia.

“It’s a love that runs deep,” Allison Ferré, a spokesperson for the Port of Portland, told Oregon Live.

A Rare Find For Over A Decade

Over the last decade, airport visitors could only find remnants of the classic teal carpet at places like Tender Loving Empire at Concourse E. However, the new main terminal project will reintroduce about 6,000 square feet of a newly made carpet replicating the famous old design.

Controversial Decision Swaps Beloved Teal For Green

In 2013, the Port of Portland announced a $13 million project to replace the iconic airport carpet, sparking significant public interest and media coverage. Concerned about the fate of the original carpet, the public voiced their worries. The port responded by considering recycling options and distributing pieces of the carpet as keepsakes.

In 2015, PDX rolled out a new carpet design from Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects. This design featured mood-enhancing colors and retained some elements from the original pattern. The airport hoped travelers would appreciate the new design as much as they did the old one.

Old (left) and new (right) PDX carpet designs, CC Another Believer 

New Carpet Made To Match Original Identically

The manufacturers of the new teal carpet carefully recreated it from an original sample to match the old carpet’s color and texture precisely. Adam Garske, a Hoffman Skanska Joint Venture project engineer, explained that the teal carpet revival takes 24 weeks to manufacture which is three times longer than the new green carpet design introduced in 2015.

As Garske told Oregon Live, the unique pattern of the teal carpet requires more complex stitching. “On a standard carpet, like the green carpet, it’s a loop. So you can stitch it back and forth like you would stitch clothing or a seam. But this is stitched from the bottom. And it’s like blades of grass.”

Classic Carpet Enhances Terrazo & White Oak Flooring

The new terminal design features terrazzo and Oregon white oak flooring, enhancing navigation for strollers, roller bags, and wheelchairs compared to carpets. Designers have placed two large teal carpet areas, framed in wood, in the seating areas before security. The terminal’s first phase will open in August.

Builders will complete the second phase of the new terminal next year. It will include more teal carpet areas.


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