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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

New Tom Bradley International Terminal Opens For Preview Activities

Max Schwartz |
June 20, 2013 | 4:29 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


The Storyboard Inside The New Tom Bradley International Terminal (Max Schwartz/Neon Tommy)
The Storyboard Inside The New Tom Bradley International Terminal (Max Schwartz/Neon Tommy)
On Thursday, Los Angeles World Airports held the media preview day for the New Tom Bradley International Terminal, or TBIT, at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The $1.9 billion terminal is one portion of the larger LAX Capital Improvements Program, scheduled to be completed within the next ten years. With a $4.1 billion price tag, the LAX Capital Improvements Program is the most expensive public works project in Los Angeles history. No public money from Los Angeles’ general fund is being used on any of the LAX renovations.

This project has been a long time coming; the first master plan was started in 1994 under Mayor Richard Riordan and the final version of the master plan was approved at the end of Mayor James Hahn’s time in office in 2005. The New TBIT is in its final stages under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

When completed in its entirety, the New TBIT, which started to be built in February 2010, will have 18 new gates capable of holding the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8 intercontinental, and 31 new dining units. Restaurants will include Petrossian, Vanilla Bakeshop, Border Grill, The Larder at Tavern, Chaya, Vino Volo (for wine), and Pinkberry, among others. XpresSpa will also be in the terminal.  

Nancy Castles, director of public relations at LAX, said of the project, "We are near completion of phase one and what people will see is this great hall of 150,000 square feet of new shopping and dining that will feature many, many Los Angeles or local area restaurants and boutique stores, such as Kitsons and Fred Segals. It’ll be blended with the luxury you’ll normally see in the duty free shops.”

The terminal, designed by Fentress Architects, is also full of technology. There will be laser activated controlled aircraft docking stations and gates. LAX will be the first airport in the United States to use this feature.

Architect Curtis Fentress said that LAX will be the "world’s largest facility for double decker Airbuses” and that he wants passangers to go from "gates to curbside in 20 minutes." Thomas J. Walsh, the architect who designed the New TBIT, designed the building to look like the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

The terminal contains a one of a kind Integrated Environmental Media System, or IEMS. This includes the 72-foot tall Time Tower, which goes around an elevator shaft. The Time Tower is interactive because, according to the team behind it, “people can touch the base of the tower and every touch creates an effect.” The team also said, “every piece of content is interactive in its own way.” There is also a welcome board, which welcomes travellers to Los Angeles, a storyboard that generates images, a destination board, which shows flights, their destinations, and their status, and bon voyage boards to send people off. The destination board, however, is not a normal destination board. It profiles individual destinations one at a time in addition to giving the schedule. The bon voyage boards send people off as they walk to their gate. The system that runs the interactive boards is connected to the airport’s computer system, so the system knows what departure is at what gate. This allows specific images to be put on specific boards to reflect the destination at that particular gate. According to the team that made the system, it is “secure” and the “infrastructure is different and discrete.”

There is an open house for the public on Saturday, June 22, 2013.



Reach Staff Reporter Max Schwartz here; follow him on Twitter here.



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