"It's going to feel a little softer, and it's going to be more colorful," he added. "McNamara's the big, audacious older brother in the family. This is the little brother. It's a different personality. Siblings with different personalities."
One of the signature elements of the north terminal will be an ever-changing light pattern running the full length of the ceiling of the ticketing lobby. With thousands of possible combinations, the lighting will be visible as motorists drive up to the terminal, said Ron Harwood, president of Illuminating Concepts, which designed the lighting feature.
Subtle design cues will alert passengers to key places in the terminal. At security check-ins, the ceiling will be lower and the area will be framed in a wood grain-like material.
Different lighting fixtures will signal important junctions. Low-hanging globes will light the food courts. Vertical pipe-like lights will hang in the area where arriving passengers will head down to baggage claim.
The goal is to continue the upgrades started in 2002 with the opening of the McNamara Terminal, which boosted the image of Metro and, by extension, of Detroit.