Tom Bradley Design . LAX
While I’m a frequent traveler to Los Angeles International Airport I fortunately have never used the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The long standing consensus on the TBIT is that its inefficient, ugly, dilapidated, and cramped. The LAWA (Los Angeles World Airport) authority calls for major improvements to the TBIT over the next 15 years - one of which will be unveiled today.
From the L.A. Times:
Among the highest priorities is the aging Bradley complex, which serves international travelers and has not undergone a major remodeling since it opened just before the 1984 summer Olympics.
Plans call for rebuilt concourses, a center taxiway, a million additional square feet that would double the size of the building, and new gates on the west side to handle large aircraft, such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The work might cost between $3 billion and $3.5 billion, according to estimates.
The new design, set to be released today, will improve the interiors and showcase a new exterior on the original “big box” building – and most certainly be welcome. Denver based Fentress Architects will be the craftsmen, and from reading this Contra Costa Times article the new appearance will look like “billowing sails,” or “fish scales,” depending on personal critiques. Fentress also designed the now famous Denver International “tent” terminal building. Much like the Denver airport, anything out of the norm is sure to be both lauded and scorned. But that’s ok, because at least something of architectural distinction is creative and unique, which makes a statement rather than just a big boring box – which is what makes up the bulk of the LAX terminals.
Other than the graceful tentacles of the theme building there is nothing iconic or inspiring about LAX – which is unfortunate as its a gateway for millions of diverse southern California residents and visitors from around the world. Hopefully this new design will be the first of many improvements to come…
Flickr photo from Texas Travelman.