Inspired by the sunny skies and laid-back vibe of Long Beach, HOK’s design for modernizing this historic airport and local landmark blurs the lines between indoors and outdoors. A new concourse takes advantage of the pleasant Southern California climate with palm tree-lined courtyards, lush gardens, shaded wooden boardwalks and even a fire pit.
Improvements to the 1941 terminal building and the concourse—including gate-side boarding lounges, concessions, a security building, a central plaza and landscaped courtyards—enhance the airport’s functionality while making the travel experience easier and more enjoyable.
The design preserves the original Art Deco terminal as an important part of airport operations, with new structures appropriately scaled behind it. The landmark structure remains the visual link between the landside and airside while serving as the main circulation pathway for departing passengers. A symmetrical airside garden area connects the north and south hold room buildings.
In naming the Long Beach Airport one of the world’s 10 most beautiful, architecture critic Jonathan Glancey wrote that HOK brings the “much-loved regional airport up to date without it losing its Bogart-Bacall-era Hollywood charm.”