When the Los Angeles International Airport opens its newly renovated terminal to the public later this summer, passengers will travel through one of the most technologically advanced and splashiest airports in North America. During a recent preview of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, 10,000 Angelenos got a taste of the $1.9 billion overhaul which includes interactive multimedia experiences splashed on giant LCD screens, monumental art installations, fine dining restaurants helmed by local celebrity chefs like Michael Voltaggio and Suzanne Goin, and strips of luxury retail shops inspired by Rodeo Drive.
The new terminal was designed by Fentress Architects, the same firm behind the multi award-winning Incheon International Airport in South Korea.
Greeting inbound passengers arriving at LAX, for instance, will be a giant 80-foot (25-meter) tall Welcome Wall created to ‘refresh’ tired passengers’ senses with visual displays of flowing cloudscapes and the LA shoreline.
In the Great Hall, a Story Board measuring 120 feet features a variety of ‘ambient narratives’ including visuals that take passengers on virtual tours through destination cities, panoramic images of Los Angeles and evocative still images of nature.
The centerpiece of the terminal, meanwhile, will be the 72-foot (22-meter) tall digital Time Tower, an interactive motion-sensitive structure that reacts to passenger movements. Though designed to tell time as a world clock, it’s also meant to “reveal time” as part of the travel experience.
The newly renovated terminal will also offer passengers substantially more dining and retail options than its previous incarnation.
With 31 dining outlets — three times more than before — the new terminal will provide a mix of local and global flavors including gourmet sandwich creations by LA celebrity Michael Voltaggio and James Beard Award winner Suzanne Goin.
And in a nod to one of the most famous shopping strips in the US, Rodeo Drive, the new terminal is also billed as a premier retail destination, with 36 outlets including local LA brands like Fred Segal and Kitson.