Tom Bradley International Terminal - renovation at Los Angeles International Airport LAX

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Transiting through Tom Bradley International terminal Is now more like the relaxed experience passengers need Trends editorial director Paul Taylor looks at the long overdue transformation by Fentress Architects

With a design that evokes the world-famous surf of Californian beaches, the Tom Bradley International Terminal heralds a new era in traveller comfort.

With over 66 million passengers a year passing through LA airport it should be a gateway experience for the city and state.

But, in the past, if your journey took you through the Tom Bradley International terminal the experience has been far from uplifting.

Thankfully that's now all changed with the opening of a new terminal building designed by Curtis Fentress of Fentress Architects.

The starting point for the design was a wave-like structure reminiscent of the city's famous beaches. In response, Fentress has created a distinctive arching sectional roofline which also references the arches of the iconic LAX control tower.

The statistics behind the new Tom Bradley are impressive.

At nearly 112,000 square metres, it's double the size of the previous terminal and is the largest public works program in the history of Los Angeles.

It contains 15,500 tonnes of steel, and the steel structure allows for a column-free interior that rises to height of 31m at the central Great Hall.

It also has double the processing capacity of the old terminal, with the ability to handle 4000 people an hour through Federal Inspection Services. And that should add up to 8.6 million passengers passing comfortably through the terminal annually.

Of course, these days, airport terminals are more than just a place where passengers transit. They've become a destination revenue source in their own right.

The new Tom Bradley centre is no exception. The enormous electronic billboards inside are one revenue source ... as well as the shopping pavilions and food and beverage outlets that have been incorporated into spaces created by the impressive interior architecture.

With the new terminal now fully operational, international passengers passing through LAX can expect an infinitely more pleasant and relaxed experience to start or end their journey.

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