Skift Take

The Bradley West Terminal design centers around creating 'sense of place' at LAX, which is a growing trend among global airports aiming to embody the culture of the cities they serve.

Los Angeles Airport released design plans for the $1.5 billion development of a new addition to the Bradley International Terminal today. The designs and commercial offerings integrate LA culture with 22 local brands including Umami BurgerVanilla Bake Shop, and Fred Segal.

Westfield Group and DFS are investing in what will be the largest public works project in the city’s history, all part of a $4.1 billion modernization program at LAX.

Upgrades and additions

The Bradley West Terminal and its retail stores are expected to open by Spring 2013, followed by an upgraded customs arrival area, new screening area, and 18 larger boarding gates to be completed by 2014. The upgrades are expected to increase efficiency during passenger processing and decrease wait times for baggage.

“We’re hoping to increase tourism in coming to LA, but also to modernize our international terminals so people who do come experience a new kind of LA,” says a spokesperson for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Creating a sense of place

The development is part of a global transformation in airport design that is beginning to emphasize local culture, leisure, and retail. Airports such as Tokyo Haneda and Amsterdam Schipol are also infusing themes of city lifestyle and tradition into commercial initiatives that help create an unique sense of place for arriving flyers.

Westfield Group explains this goal in in its development guidelines: “It is important that the passenger can experience a richly varied palette of retail, food and beverage services that reflect the passenger’s visitor experience in Los Angeles. The creative expression of local character provides the opportunity to enhance, support and contribute to a uniquely LAX ‘Sense of Place’ that will delight passengers and at the same time support a thriving business environment.”

Westfield Group and its partners also invested more than $26 million into the redesign of  international Terminal 5 at Chicago O’Hare Airport, which will is slated be done in Fall 2013.



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Tags: design, lax, local

Photo credit: This is the working design concept for the Great Hall at Tom Bradley International Terminal. Westfield Concession Management /

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