The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the world’s busiest airports, is undergoing a facelift. As part of a multi-phase project, AECOM is working with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to create a sensational experience for the 61 million passengers who travel in and out of LAX annually. The project aspires to unify the disparate components of the airport’s central terminal area (CTA) and insert grand gestures that provide architectural hierarchy — yielding LAX as exciting as the city in which it resides. Through an artful integration of lighting, graphics, and architecture, the design draws from key existing airport elements such as the 1960s architecture of the Theme Building and the 60-foot polychromatic light pylons that define the airport’s entry.
The CTA will be articulated with an illuminated glass ribbon that defines the roadway edge and is modulated with white sculptural light poles every 60 feet — establishing an unprecedented ceremonial airport experience. This illuminated ribbon is synchronized with the entry pylons, and the light poles emulate the Theme Building’s optimistic architecture. In addition to the light ribbon are three-dimensional super-graphic terminal identifiers.
The project amplifies at LAX’s largest terminal, Tom Bradley International. A series of aerodynamic metallic canopies will replace the existing structures. The improvements include: a 1,000-foot roadside canopy, three entry pavilions canopies with integral skylights, and two new escalator and stair canopies that link the arrival and departure levels. In addition, the plaza at the arrival level will be renovated — delivering more light and space for the traveler. The LAX Enhancements project will radically improve the traveler’s experience from curbside to airside with a design that captures the essence of Los Angeles. In the interest of delivering the client a project of the highest value, the scheme functions as a kit of parts that can be easily phased and built upon for all future enhancement projects. Welcome to Los Angeles.
Architectural Project Director: Jed Zimmerman
Architectural Design Director: Carlos Madrid III
Project Architect: John Martin
Project Team: Michael Frederick, Melanie Freeland, James Jackson, Josh Kenin, Scott Smith, Yan M Wang, Jennifer Williams, Tommy Zandi
Text provided by AECOM.