As part of the expansion of Logan International Airport in Boston, an entire section of new aircraft hangars, known as Hangar Row, is being configured. Pentagram was asked by its long-time client, United Airlines, to develop a graphic façade for its new hangar, the first to appear on Hangar Row. The criteria for the design were that it needed to feel distinctly United and that it should be a visual event with the potential to become an airport landmark for those flying into and out of Boston.
Working with a photographer specializing in x-ray images, the team conceived a 17,000 square foot design that depicts a full-scale x-ray image of United's flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777, being serviced by United mechanics. The design was intended to underscore United's commitment to safety, and to recognize the individuals behind the scenes who make it possible. The image references the unique structure of the new building as well, by uncovering the form of actual architectural elements below the skin of the hangar. Stylistically, it draws upon the image of the security x-ray already familiar to any air traveler.
"What better sign to put on a hangar than an enormous airplane? It's smart and beautiful and memorable."
"The pilot looks simultaneously fragile and powerful which, of course, is especially evocative at this point in history. It also makes me reflect on where I fit in when I fly."
"It's delicate but strong. The concept has the potential to look cheap but is successful in its elegant execution."
Michael Bierut (Principal in Charge), Brett Traylor