LAWA breaks ground on LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse South

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Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) broke ground on the latest addition to Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) multi-billion-dollar capital improvement program – the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) South project.

The MSC project is an extension of the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal and will add approximately 150,000ft2 and eight gates for narrowbody aircraft. Using a construction technique called off-site construction and relocation (OCR), MSC South will be built in nine segments roughly a mile and a half away from the project’s site and then carefully delivered and assembled in place. The OCR is expected to save public funds and time with a great deal of building control and supervision. Enabling work for the project is now underway, with significant project completion planned for 2025.

The concourse has been designed to create a sense of place that celebrates and pays homage to the City of Los Angeles, with elements of the design influenced by its modernist homes. This is especially true of the project’s exterior brise soleil system – a solar shading feature on the concourse’s façade – that frames the sightline of the surrounding LA landscape. The terminal’s interior has been designed to feel more like a domestic space than a traditional airport concourse.

MSC South’s brise soleil system will also enable passive cooling and energy conservation, helping the project achieve its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver accreditation goal. As with all LAWA transformation projects, the team delivering MSC South comprises local workers, with more than 30% of the team coming from Los Angeles’s local workforce.

Justin Erbacci, CEO of LAWA, said, “It is a testament to LAWA’s consistent focus on innovation that LAX’s new Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) South is being delivered with a first-of-its-kind OCR technique that will enable an accelerated project timeline, save money and be flexible enough to adapt to meet future needs if required. MSC South is original in both the way it is being constructed and in its overall design, which celebrates our transformation while paying tribute to the architectural legacy of our airport.”

Matt Ducharme, principal and west coast design leader at Woods Bagot, said, “Drawing inspiration from California modernism, the design for LAX’s MSC South captures a feeling of ease, simple but functional design, and timeless beauty. A great example of this is realized in the concourse’s exterior brise soleil system that links to the building’s interior ceiling, creating a strong sense of place and indoor-to-outdoor connection for guests.”

John Finn, president of W E O’Neil Construction, added, “LAX’s MSC South is amazing because of what we’ve figured out how to do together – deliver the job faster without sacrificing precision and care by building the concourse off-site then meticulously moving the segments into place. Yes, it will look cool! But another major aspect is the speed at which we are able to realize the project while still maintaining the very highest construction standards.”

For more key construction and architecture updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here.

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