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Los Angeles International Airport Midfield Expansion

Collaborative design maintains the spirit of the existing systems while being lighter and slimmer

Project Facts

Location Los Angeles, California
Owner Los Angeles World Airports
Size 800,000 SF
Cost $1 billion
Status Completed 2020
Capacity 21 aircraft gates
Certifications LEED Silver / CALGreen Tier 1


As an extension of the Tom Bradley West International Terminal (TBIT), the Midfield Satellite Concourse North (MSC) maintains the spirit of the existing facade system while being lighter and slimmer. The final façade utilized a mix of metal panel systems and glazing systems but varied the structural support for the components in order to provide a robust and efficient solution that was cost effective and performance driven. The new design gives the third busiest airport in the nation (LAX) a chance to modernize and expand to meet increasing passenger demands.

About the project

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) pursued a collaborative design build process for the project with an established program and budget. As part of this synergetic process, the team utilized a “Big Room Meeting” setting, where everyone could come together to discuss the development of the issues and to provide expertise about their specialty and to find agreeable solutions in real time. This allowed the team and the owner to make quick, definite decisions about nuanced or challenging aspects of the project, saving both time and money.

One of LAWA’s primary goals for the MSC was that it would be able to serve passengers for the decades to come. This required a higher resistance to seismic activity as well as the ability to accommodate changing aircraft sizes. Walter P Moore oversaw the design and detailing of a lab-tested façade that can withstand a 3% drift without damage, allowing the building to remain functional and the curtainwall – even the twin, 48-foot tall picture windows – to remain undamaged when experiencing a 100-year earthquake. To meet the challenge of changing aircraft sizes, each of the 12 gatehouses was engineered as an independent unit which connects to the concourse building using expansion joints allowing them to be reconfigured as needed. Our team mirrored this modular approach in the façade’s structural system so that the exterior cladding could be reconfigured to match any new gatehouse configuration.