LAX is Really Getting There: Fentress Opens Major Terminal Expansion

Monday, June 24, 2013
Inside the Tom Bradley Terminal's new Great Hall (Sam Lubell/ AN)

Inside the Tom Bradley Terminal’s new Great Hall (Sam Lubell/ AN)

Don’t look now, but LAX—the airport everyone loves to hate—is starting to complete its major makeover. The biggest change is the brand new $1.9 billion (yes, billion) addition to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, designed by Fentress Architects and unveiled in 2008. Its curving roofline, emulating waves breaking on the nearby beach, pops up behind the original Tom Bradley structure, which itself was recently renovated (for the cost of $723 million) by Leo A Daly.

New Tom Bradley Terminal at dusk (LAWA)

New Tom Bradley Terminal at dusk (LAWA)

Inside, the soaring new terminal is comprised of echoing arches and massive vaults forming a 110-foot-tall Great Hall, which beams natural light through large windows and clerestories. The terminal also includes 150,000 square feet of  new retail and dining. The entire new facility, including large new concourses, security facilities, light wells, and more retail, measures 1.2 million square feet, which doubles the space of the existing Tom Bradley terminal.

AECOM's LAX enhancements, including new canopies, light poles, and LED lighting. (AECOM)

AECOM’s LAX enhancements, including new canopies, light poles, and LED lighting. (AECOM)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. LAX’s overall Capital Improvements Program budget is—wait for it—$4.1 billion, including a new Central Utility Plant, additional terminal renovations, and restoration of the Theme Building. Perhaps the most noticeable change just opened last night: AECOM’s new roadway enhancements, including new LED light ribbons above roadways, sculptural, Y-shaped light poles, and fancy new metallic canopies outside of Tom Bradley. Watch for more details in the next West Coast issue of The Architect’s Newspaper.

Tom Bradley International Terminal's new Great Hall (LAWA)

Tom Bradley International Terminal’s new Great Hall (LAWA)

2 Responses to “LAX is Really Getting There: Fentress Opens Major Terminal Expansion”

  1. Jonah says:

    Looks great, but I really wish they could do something about the big cement sarcophagus that houses the front of the structure. First impressions count!

  2. Cory Schaeffer says:

    Yes, looks great. I wonder how it “sounds” also I wonder what technologies were put in to accommodate the hearing impaired which is over 17% of the population. Most international airports accommodate this with visual displays and hearing loop technology. No mention of this as all too often attention is put to how things “look” not how functional the building is.

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