LAX - Immersive Multimedia Architecture

The Los Angeles International Airport is one of the world's busiest, handling more than 60 million passengers each year. Like other global hubs, LAX is facing new challenges as traffic increases, like tighter security, longer lineups and delays. The passenger experience is becoming more stressful, and air travel is losing its excitement and adventure.
Fentress Architects set out to change that when they designed the airport's new Tom Bradley International Terminal, which opened to the public in September 2013. A key element in their plan: the largest immersive multimedia installation at any airport in the Americas.

Fentress Architects set out to change that when they designed the airport's new Tom Bradley International Terminal

THE CHALLENGE

Moment Factory was commissioned to help create a better passenger experience at LAX. Our challenge: Bring back the romance of travel. Help people see their journey with fresh eyes.
As Executive Content Producer, working closely with Mike Rubin (MRA International) and Marcela Sardi (Sardi Design), and supported by Digital Kitchen, we planned, designed, produced and implemented a digital storytelling strategy that brings seven giant media features to life and helps brand the terminal as a destination.

Moment Factory was commissioned to help create a better passenger experience at LAX

Moment Factory was commissioned to help create a better passenger experience at LAX

THE MANDATE

Our task under this mandate had many different dimensions, including:

  • Plan a storytelling system based on a modular content library that will expand over time
  • Produce more than four hours of original content for the system launch
  • Develop an content strategy that enhances the space rather than overwhelming it
  • Orchestrate media across the space and throughout the day, to maintain harmony in the environment
  • Use real-time interactivity and data visualization to make the experience more direct and personal
  • Set the stage for future branded sponsorship of the system
Most importantly, we had to stay true to the project's essence: helping people put aside the stress of travel by bringing magic, romance and wonder to the airport experience.

Our task under this mandate had many different dimensions

Our task under this mandate had many different dimensions

THE PROCESS

Over the course of sixteen months, every imaginable production and post-production technique was used to create more than four hours of stunning original content for the seven features - location shoots on 3 continents, time-lapse photography, ultra-high-speed filming in laboratory conditions, live-action shoots with actors and elaborate sets, interactive real-time 3D and video effects, and many more.

live-action shoots with actors and elaborate sets

THE FEATURES

Each of the seven media features is an integral part of the terminal architecture; each is designed to engage passengers at a key moment in their journey; each has a distinct personality linked to a moment in the traveller's experience.

Each of the seven media features is an integral part of the terminal architecture;

The Bon Voyage Wall, just after security clearance, puts a smile on passengers' faces as they start their journeys.

The Bon Voyage Wall, just after security clearance, puts a smile on passengers' faces as they start their journeys.

The 80-foot-tall Welcome Wall is like a digital oasis that greets arriving passengers with refreshing LA-themed content as they pass immigration.

The 80-foot-tall Welcome Wall is like a digital oasis that greets arriving passengers with refreshing LA-themed content as they pass immigration.

Soaring above the Great Hall, the Story Board is a tribute to LA's cinematic creativity that explores multiple facets of the city - and of destinations both real and imagined.

Soaring above the Great Hall, the Story Board is a tribute to LA's cinematic creativity that explores multiple facets of the city - and of destinations both real and imagined.

The 7-story, four-sided, LED-covered Time Tower, the centrepiece of the main departure hall, is in constant evolution throughout the day - now clad with a virtual kinetic architecture, now seemingly opening up to reveal amazing worlds inside.

The 7-story, four-sided, LED-covered Time Tower

The Destination Board complements flight information with atmospheric visuals linked to outbound flight destinations. Real-time global weather data feeds are used to generate beautiful, organic abstractions that evoke wind, rain and topography.

The North and South Portals are positioned to mark the passage between the main hall and gate concourses.
These features are interactive at two different levels. Firstly, the digital artwork on the pillars is connected to the airport data system and regularly changes to reflect outbound flights; secondly, real-time video and sound effects are triggered by passenger movements, sending passengers on their way with a personal touch of high-tech magic.

The North and South Portals are positioned to mark the passage between the main hall and gate concourses.

THE RESULT

The result is a place where there is no sense of screens or technology, just architecture that comes alive. It's a space where immersive media and ambient storytelling don't demand attention - but do reward it. It's a carefully curated installation of breathtaking beauty that helps passengers fly before they ever leave the ground, and takes the airport experience to new heights.

The result is a place where there is no sense of screens or technology, just architecture that comes alive.