Design

Delta breaks ground on its new LaGuardia terminal.

Maybe – someday – we’ll love New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Again.

Signs are pointing in the right direction.

On Tuesday Delta Air lines broke ground on its $4 billion, 37-gate facility at LaGuardia – part of the over-all transformation of the airport we’ve been promised.

Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, was there, along with New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and a variety of local and regional dignitaries.

“The groundbreaking at Delta’s facilities represents another step forward as we build an entirely new airport at LaGuardia,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Together with our private-sector partners, we are making rapid progress to create the world-class gateway to the Empire State that New Yorkers deserve.”

Delta’s new terminal promises four concourses with 37 flexibly-sized gates to accommodate Delta’s full fleet; a new, larger Delta Sky Club with a Sky Deck; new hold rooms with more seating; 30 percent more concessions space; and “sustainable and scalable technology befitting of an airport of the future.”

“We know the new LaGuardia is one that New Yorkers will be proud to call their hometown airport,” said Delta’s Bastian. “And we are confident that this investment will further cement Delta as the No. 1 airline in New York, with the best customer service and experience on the ground as well as in the air.”

Here are some drawings released by Gov. Cuomo’s office showing what’s in store. Let’s hope the art and greenery makes it to the final cut.

 

 

 

 

Touring Austin – and Austin Bergstrom Int’l Airport

I joined Delta Air Lines for the inaugural of its direct flight between Seattle and Austin and had one day on the ground to explore the city and the airport.

Base camp was the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin, downtown on Congress Avenue. The hotel is within walking distance of a food cart corner where we fueled up for the day at the silver trailer named My Name is Joe.

The menu includes hearty starts such as Texas Rancher Oats (oatmeal, tomato sauce, poached egg, queso fresco, black beans and avocado) and the proceeds help provide jobs and treatment program funding for service industry workers recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Next, we set out on a portion of the 10-mile ride and hike trail around Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. Transportation – and excellent guides – provided by Rocket Electrics , which offers both organized and custom tours throughout the city on fun and surprisingly easy-to-ride electric bikes.

Then, it was off to Austin Bergstrom International Airport for a tour.

Upgrades galore are underway at AUS airport, with new shops, restaurants, baggage claim and gate areas under construction.

One work-around airport officials are especially pleased about are the four temporary jet bridges -or “elevated walkways,” as the airport calls them –  that have been set up to keep things moving smoothly at one end of the terminal while a new addition is built. The longest temporary jet bridge is 720 feet and AUS’s Derick Hackett believes it is currently the longest temporary jet bridge in the United States.

Record-setting or not, the bridge is so long that the airport has created a marathon-inspired set of posters to encourage passengers on their journey from one end to the other.

We also stopped by for a tour of the newly-opened Bark and Zoom pet hotel and valet parking center right next to the airport, where dogs and cats can be pampered while their people are away. In addition to the upgraded suites where pups can watch cable TV all day (CNN was playing when we toured, but programming is usually Animal Planet), we got to see the guitar-shaped pool pups gets to play in.

Notice the “No Diving” sign….

LAX unveils made-over Terminal 6

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No, you’re not really on Sunset Boulevard, but the LA icon was the inspiration for the makeover being celebrated this week in Terminal 6 at Los Angeles International Airport.

Part of the long-running LAX modernization program, the project was made possible with a $70.5 million investment from the airport, Westfield and a wide variety of operating partners and unifies three separate buildings built over four decades into a shiny new facility with 21 new retail and dining concepts – including 14 LA brands and 13 airport firsts – laid out in what are described as “interconnected neighborhoods that guide travelers through their journey.”

Restaurants to look for include: Blu20 (L.A. beach-inspired cuisine), earthbar (fresh juices and salads), Habit Burger Grill, The Kitchen, WPizza, The Wine Bar, Osteria by Fabio Vivani (old-world Italian cuisine), Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Point the Way Cafe (craft beers), Wahoo’s Fish Taco and more.

Shoppers will find a chic boutique from M. Fredric, TUMI and MAC Cosmetics shops, a See’s Candies store, a Belkin electronics shop, and plenty of places to pick up travel essentials.

Here’s what the terminal spaces looked like before  – followed by some more images shared by Westfield.

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Sea-Tac Airport’s north satellite makeover

SEA GLOBE RESTAURANT

One of the things I love about my home-base airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, is its history and the fact that, over the 30 years I’ve lived in Seattle, I’ve seen a lot of positive changes in the facilities.

Now there’s more. The Port of Seattle just released details, animated videos and renderings of what’s in store for the 40-year old North Satellite terminal, where Alaska Airlines is the sole tenant.

Groundbreaking for the $636 million NorthSTAR project (“North Sea-Tac Airport Renovation”) is scheduled for the first quarter of 2017 with phase one complete in 2019 and the full facility upgrade opening in 2021.

The project will add eight new gates with a 240-foot extension of the building to the west, add an upper level mezzanine, more than double the existing dining and retail square footage, and introduce a rooftop Alaska Airlines lounge with views of the Olympic Mountains.

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In addition to bringing in more light and more amenities the project promises a living wall and rainwater collecting system that will supply flushing water to the restrooms throughout most of the year.

Other improvements we look forward to include more seating areas and power outlets and more robust Wi-Fi connectivity.

While Alaska is the major tenant in the North Satellite – which is accessed by a short underground train ride from the main terminal – the carrier will continue operating its Horizon Air regional flights out of Concourse C.

Sea-Tac is in need of larger, better facilities. Through July of 2016, traffic is up nearly 10 percent, after increases of nearly 13 percent in 2015 and 7.7 percent in 2014. The airport has set annual passenger records for the past five years, totaling 42.3 million in 2015, a 12.9 percent increase from 2014 which was seven percent higher than 2013.

SFO Museum exhibits mid-20th century modern design

Mid-Century Design

Cinderella garbage pail 1940. Chemex Corp. Courtesy SFO Museum

The newest exhibit from the SFO Museum at SFO International Airport highlights exquisite examples of mid-twentieth-century modern design which, the museum notes tell us:

“…balanced expression with efficiency and utility. Geared towards everyday living, modern design redefined housewares, furniture, and decorative arts. The form of each object followed its function, with innovative construction methods finished in natural tones and bold colors. Working in the spirit of their time, mid-century designers created items that lent style and comfort to the necessities of modern life.”

This exhibit, A Modern Approach: Mid-Century Design, gathers examples of mid-century studio art, graphic design, and manufactured goods from the 1930 through the 1960s.

Here are few more items from the exhibit, which is in SFO’s International Terminal Main Departures Hall.

Mid-Century Design

Special Model K portable electric phonograph 1940. Courtesy SFO Museum

 

 

Mid-Century Design

LCW Chair; designed by Charles and Ray Eames. Courtesy SFO Museum

 

Mid-Century Design