Article by ADR contributor Emily Taliangis. Images courtesy Woods Bagot.
Woods Bagot’s Business Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport exemplifies design of the highest esteem; not one aspect of the large, open lounge has been left unconsidered. It is no surprise the firm has been shortlisted for Designer of the Year in this year’s Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).
In designing the joint Business Lounge for Qantas, Cathay Pacific and British Airways at LAX, creating the ultimate customer experience was the driving inspiration. Signature elements from each of the prominent airlines have been incorporated to make customers feel at home, no matter how far from it they might be.
A mandate from the client specified that the lounge design reflect the combined airlines, and not be aligned to a specific airline’s current lounge experience. The result is something truly exclusive, as the individually considered elements unify under a clean, modern Los Angeles aesthetic. Customers can experience both a sense of place, recognising touch points of familiarity unique to each airline, while enjoying design qualities that are unique to California.
The Business Lounge features a California-inspired design, taking advantage of a large central atrium to provide high-flying customers with a broad choice of amenities and an ambience enhanced by LA’s unlimited supply of sunshine. Diversity of choice and comfort are defining elements of the lounge. Customers can dine on the sun-filled interior landscaped ‘deck’, join fellow lounge-members at the bar for a pre-flight cocktail, or sit quietly around the fireplace in the den.
A quiet, secluded relaxation area provides classic Eames lounge chairs. The open, shared dining area allows customers to enjoy a menu influenced by Los Angeles’ diverse and multicultural cuisine, including dishes served from food carts inspired by the city’s street food culture. Large bathrooms and shower suites complete the luxury offerings.
Various backdrops of light and dark wood, stone textiles and a locally inspired polished plaster “ribbon” wall weave through the lounge, tying the various settings into a singular, welcoming experience. Colour accents and contemporary furnishings, including iconic pieces designed in LA, enhance the connection to the region. It’s an all-encompassing city experience for those in transit, without leaving the airport.
In addition to Woods Bagot’s luxury design, the project demonstrates considered sustainability goals, bringing the project to LEED Silver equivalency. Title 24 requirements that limit the watts-per-square-foot usage necessitated the use of LED fittings, and low energy-use equipment has been installed in the commercial kitchen and bathrooms.
Woods Bagot has designed the ultimate pre-flight experience with its BusinessLounge at LAX – one that will not be easily forgotten by its worldwide customers.