From the desktops and laptops we write on, to phones that do much more than dial a number, the brains behind this revolution have given this one-time agricultural haven a new name: Silicon Valley. Fentress’ new Terminal B at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport is the gateway connecting the world to this world capital of technology. In considering a design for the San Jose airport, Fentress faced the same kind of cultural dichotomy found at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. On the one hand, San Jose, like the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, thrives on its reputation for research and innovation. Yet just as that region of North Carolina is rich in the work on artisans and craftspeople, San Jose shares an agricultural past with much of California. In a different life, the city was known for its orchards and vineyards.At the same time, the San Jose design-build project also relied on split-second coordination: Terminal A received the major renovation, while Terminal C underwent an interim modification until it could be razed to clear space for Terminal B. Also part of the project is the construction of a consolidated rental car garage, which includes public parking and improvements to roads and parking areas. All of this took place on a narrow, linear site constrained by existing waterways, highways and runways—around an operational airport. The centerpiece of this logistical challenge is Terminal B, where Fentress expressed the disparate ideas of high tech-industry and nature’s bounty in subtle yet surprising ways. The sinuous exterior takes the form of an articulated tube, with generous glass curtain walls broken by stretches of ribbed or perforated metal skin. Like a coaxial cable rolled out for use, the building reflects a sense of layering, a rhythm achieved by texture. From its futuristic architecture to its avant-garde digital art program, San Jose’s Terminal B delivers a cutting-edge experience that people have come to expect from Silicon Valley. The design team focused on offering the amenities, comfort and ease of travel that passengers need today and tomorrow. From curbside to airside, Fentress’ design for Terminal B establishes a natural order for intuitive wayfinding and streamlined efficiency. It provides the latest technology for self-service check-in and bag screening with facility-wide common-use capabilities. Responding to traveler’s desire for more comfortable seating and essential amenities, Fentress, Zoeftig and airport officials developed America’s first “Air Chair”—an innovative fusion of personal electronics charging stations and air diffusers located in the seat’s bases, delivering conditioned air directly to passengers. The low-energy, high-efficiency displacement ventilation system also reduces energy costs.Terminal B’s innovative design, lighting and HVAC systems focus on creating a sustainable building life cycle, exceeding energy standards by more than 16%. Water conservation measures achieve 75% less water use than in a similar conventional building.Wood panel accents and sloped wooden ceilings near ticket counters and checkpoints humanizes the building, inviting in warmth. A 150-meter-long steel and glass curtain wall sheathed by curving perforated metal panels bathes passengers with daylight in an airy arrivals hall. The terminal project is grounded in technology that meets advanced seismic standards, a crucial element of any building in California and one that here is built into the refined design. “We designed an innovative roof that can slide 14 inches in either direction to withstand seismic activity, at the same time creating a sleek, artistic profile,” says Fentress. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, completed in 2010, has a capacity of 14 million passengers and operates 28 fixed gates.