For those of you who grew up in the Los Angeles area, you know that LAX has always been a terrible terrible place. First, it’s very far away, all the way by the beach. And not Santa Monica Beach, but the area-next-to-the-sewage-treatment-plant beach. Second, traffic. Third, the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
I think it was universally recognized that flying internationally out of LAX was not fun. Unlike its Asian and European counterparts, the Tom Bradley International Terminal was a boring and dark place, didn’t have enough security gates, had terrible food, and smelled of recycled air.
But for the past 3 years, the terminal has been undergoing a $1.9 billion renovation - in fact building a brand new building and demolishing the existing one. On September 2013, the Los Angeles International Airport opened the first phase of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal. Demolition is still in progress, but phase two should be completed by 2015.
The new terminal is designed by Denver-based Fentress Architects.
In addition to new gates and waiting areas, the terminal has been outfitted with a blinding amount of boutique shops and local restaurants (Umami, ink.sack).
In addition to a new sterile and modern terminal, the project also installed 7 public video art installations, over 19,000 ft of screens, throughout the length of the terminal. Some of the video installations are interactive, reacting directly with sound and actions to the movement of strolling-by passengers.
The largest of these installation, located in the terminals “Great Hall”, features about four hours of film from 40 short videos, depicting various snippet of LA life, architecture, and travel. The installation also reacts with the 5-story “Time Tower” at the top of the hour.
An interesting new take on “modern” architecture and the airport typology, particularly before my flight to design-forward Scandinavia.