As part of a redevelopment plan for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the Culver City, Calif., office of Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (HLB) teamed with L.A.-based AECOM to enliven LAX’s Central Terminal Area. The area of focus for the first phase of this curbside enhancement project was the roadway and sidewalk areas in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Recognizing the need to illuminate an upper and lower roadway system as well as the entrance into the terminal—all under an aggressive timeline—HLB and AECOM strategized to produce maximum effect with minimal materials.

The most eye-catching improvement that the team implemented is a series of sculptural light poles at the edge of the upper level that evokes the spirit of flying, befitting the theme of the building. The light poles—high-gloss, white-finished, Y-shaped elements with embedded LEDs, uplit with LED spotlights—also cut energy use by two-thirds and fulfill the roadway lighting requirements with uniform 3500K white light across both levels. Because of the tight timeline, the team chose an existing roadway-approved optic component for use in the arms of the light poles, which, rotated 180 degrees from its typical deployment, allows for an average of 2.5 footcandles on the roads, and 8 footcandles on the sidewalks.

Along the roadway and terminal canopy edges, HLB and AECOM deployed a polychromatic light ribbon that links to LAX’s gateway pylon controls and cycles through synchronized color transitions. At the terminal entrance and passenger drop-off area, added reflective coatings within the LED canopy luminaires help bounce the light to create a soft luminous environment.

While only the first phase has been completed, the remaining planned stages will subsequently extend the light ribbon around the remaining terminals, further unifying the lighting and creating a cohesive experience. 

Jury Comments
A clever, custom application of a commercially available product.
This answers the question of how light can give focus to a project.

Improvements to the curbside environment at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) include sculptural light poles, under-canopy lighting, and a color-changing light ribbon along the canopy edge.
AECOM Improvements to the curbside environment at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) include sculptural light poles, under-canopy lighting, and a color-changing light ribbon along the canopy edge.

The uplifted arms of the light poles suggest propellers; the pole arms themselves serve as heat sinks for the luminaires embedded within.
AECOM The uplifted arms of the light poles suggest propellers; the pole arms themselves serve as heat sinks for the luminaires embedded within.

The light poles illuminate the upper and the lower roadways in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, and additional lighting in the canopy lights the entry.
Courtesy Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design The light poles illuminate the upper and the lower roadways in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, and additional lighting in the canopy lights the entry.

Existing conditions prior to the renovation.
AECOM Existing conditions prior to the renovation.

Diagrammatic section through the light pole arm (left); rendering of pole arm connection (right).
Courtesy Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design Diagrammatic section through the light pole arm (left); rendering of pole arm connection (right).

Detail of the LED light board, which uses replaceable 12-inch boards with 3500K LEDs.
Courtesy Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design Detail of the LED light board, which uses replaceable 12-inch boards with 3500K LEDs.

The color-changing light ribbon along the roadway edge is synched with the light pylons at the entry to LAX.
AECOM The color-changing light ribbon along the roadway edge is synched with the light pylons at the entry to LAX.

Existing luminance conditions at LAX, as seen from the airport’s control tower.
Courtesy Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design Existing luminance conditions at LAX, as seen from the airport’s control tower.

The completed curbside area in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal is the first phase of planned improvements for the entire airport.
AECOM The completed curbside area in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal is the first phase of planned improvements for the entire airport.


Details
Project  LAX Central Terminal Area (CTA) Curbside Enhancement, Los Angeles
Entrant  Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design
Owner/Client  Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)
Architect  AECOM, Los Angeles
LightingDesigner  Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, Culver City, Calif.
Team Members  Teal Brogden, Tina Aghassian, Clifton Manahan, Jae Yong Suk, Alexis Sclemer
Photographer  AECOM
Project Size  15,350 square feet (roadway and light ribbon); 28,750 square feet (canopy)
Project Cost  Withheld
Lighting Costs  Withheld
Watts per Square Foot  4.11 (light ribbon); 0.409 (other areas)
Code Compliance  California Title 24
Manufacturers  Acuity Brands/Winona Lighting, Bega-US, Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Business, ETC, Lutron, Penwal Industries (light poles), Philips Color Kinetics

To see all of the other winners of the 2014 AL Light & Architecture Design Awards, click here.