Modular Building Institute

Deployable Air Traffic Control Tower

(Click an image below to see enlargement)
Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Sea Box, Inc.
Van Nuys, California
Building Use:
FAA Air Traffic Control Tower
Gross Size of Project:
1700 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    The Sea Box Redeployable Air Traffic Control Tower is 50’ tall and comprised of 16 steel clad modules painted to the Federal Aviation Administration’s red & white checkerboard schema. Its 5 levels include: a roof top crow’s nest to house communication antennas & lightning rods, a glass enclosed control room, and an exterior catwalk for window maintenance. The structure itself is utilitarian in nature but retains its industrial aesthetic through the utilization of specially manufactured ISO containers. An air traffic control tower is meant to serve as a beacon rather than a homogeneous fixture within its environment. This tower succeeds both technically and architecturally as an air traffic control tower should. In June of 2015, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded Sea Box with a Special Citation in Institutional Architecture for its work on this project.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    Utilizing ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Shipping Containers as construction modules provides an inherent advantage for relocatable buildings. With relative ease, the building can be disassembled and transported worldwide via existing civilian and military transportation systems and handling equipment (including ocean liners, freight liners, trains, and aircraft). Also, shipping containers are designed to withstand the high loads often encountered on choppy seas. The swaying movements of fully loaded containers that are stacked 9 units high behave similarly to a building under seismic loads. Therefore, the utilization of shipping containers as the main construction element for a tower of modest height is very practical. Additionally, designing a functional relocatable control tower that met IBC, NFPA, NEC and other requisite building codes required Sea Box to create innovative solutions for interconnectivity that were not previously on the market.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    Sea Box’s Deployable Air Traffic Control Tower advances the timetable for airport improvements, saves money and helps ensure continued operational revenue. It seamlessly allows controllers to continue their duties without disruption to the air traffic grid.
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