Design

LAX unveils made-over Terminal 6

lax-6-after-2lax-6-after-1

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.

lax-6-before

lax-6-before-2

lax-6-osteria-view-of-plane

lax-6-earthbar

 

lax-6-sunset-news

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.

seatac-north-satellite-image

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

Taking an airport walk as an old person

Harriet Baskas wearing 30 pounds of 'aging suit' apparatus for test walk through SEA airport

Monday’s assignment was another one for the books: go the airport, meet a couple of guys from the Dallas-based Corgan architecture and design firm, let them outfit me in a weighted vest, knee pads, padded shoes and assorted other items that simulate being 30 years older than I am, and take a walk.

The goal? To experience the challenges of moving through a busy, crowded airport without the pep, eyesight and navigational fearlessness of a much younger person.

I’m writing up the details of this educational and exhausting day for tomorrow’s At the Airport column on USA TODAY, but here’s a pic of me trying to get a suitcase up and over the lip of a bag claim carousel.

No laughing please…

Baskas had a tough time trying to lift a suitcase over the lip of the bag claim carousel while wearing an  'aging' suit

Coolest new airline? Maybe.

Livery for Teague's Poppi airline

Can the air travel experience be calmer, cooler and more comfortable?

The big thinkers at TEAGUE, the Seattle-based design consultancy surely think so.

The company helped design Microsoft’s first Xbox and has been Boeing’s key design partner forever. And to float some ideas about what might make air travel better, they created a new – imaginary – airline called Poppi.

Devin Liddell, Teague’s principal brand strategist, walked me through some of the key features and concepts he hopes airlines will adopt now, “instead of when it’s too late.”

TEAGUE’s most “disrupting” idea might be the banishing of carry-on bags and large overhead bins in favor of slimmer models they call “Fedora bins” that would hold hats, jackets and laptop cases.

Slim overhead bins, dubbed Fedora Bins, would only hold personal items

Liddell and his team are certain that technology is now good enough to make sure everyone’s bag gets where it needs to go. And that keeping all those bags out of the cabin would make everything from the security lines to the boarding process a breeze.

“That would sidestep the nightmare that takes place on the cabin when people try to cram their bags into the overhead bins and would make exiting the plane go much faster,” said Liddell.

In 'click-class' carry-on luggage would snap into the seat

For those unable to part with their bags, Poppi would have a “Click Class” option that would allow passengers to use special luggage that stores in the seat.

Poppi's middle-seat passengers would get special perks and gifts.

TEAGUE has lots more ideas about ways to transform all aspects of air travel, but the one they’re likely to get the most applause for is their suggestion that people seated in the dreaded middle seat be rewarded with gifts or special perks.

Read more about Poppi’s ‘promises’ here.