LAX Terminal 4 Connector Building – You Are Now Free to Move Between the Terminals

LAX Terminal 4 Connector Building – You Are Now Free to Move Between the Terminals

Air travel and especially perceptions of the experience are commonly misunderstood. If you talk to any airport executive, they will tell you that one of the most overlooked aspects of air travel actually takes place on the ground. Navigating an intricate number of issues like protecting against new security concerns, adapting to new technology used by passengers, and traffic flow between concourses can give airlines and airports alike many headaches. It may even determine an airport’s reputation of being a prime destination to fly in or out of or… one to avoid.

 

There are few airports more well-known or busier than Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). LAX is iconic in print and on film as a romantic and dream destination.  But today’s increased traffic and expansion has posed many new challenges. It is the sixth busiest airport in the world and third in the United States, offering 680 daily flights to 96 domestic cities and 930 weekly nonstop flights to 59 cities in 30 countries. One of the big issues at LAX is the inability to make connections between terminals without having to leave security. One of the airport’s long-standing overall goals was constructing a post-security connector between the airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal with the always busy Terminal 4. LAX serves nearly 69.7 million passengers. With such an incredible number of people passing through each day, the need for a streamlined system is evident.

 

Airport management knew that both terminals serve a significant amount of the airport’s traffic. Besides being safe, secure, and efficient, it must be practical and consider passenger’s preferences and needs. The new connector does that and more. The $115 million project includes an outdoor patio, retail and food outlets, and a streamlined baggage transfer experience for those arriving on international flights and connecting onward.

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Photo courtesy of LA Times

Los Angeles World Airports selected Corgan as the design architect and Turner Construction as the construction manager to spearhead this endeavor. One of the key aspects to consider in the development was integrating sustainable building practices into LAX’s new architectural vision for the airport and adding an environmentally-friendly element to the improvement of passenger circulations. That team also knew that with the airport’s existing design, climate conditions, and eye for modern techniques it needed to feature a highly transparent expansive glass facade. They relied on Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems, Inc. as the installer working with W&W Glass, LLC, the structural glass supplier of the Pilkington Planar™ system, to ensure the highest level of quality and integrity of the architect’s vision.

 

LAX Terminal 4 Connector Building - Photo 3

 

 

The glass installation and design team chose Pilkington Blue-Green Solar-E Plus™ Low-e for the outer glass of the insulating units for the tinted vertical walls of the sleek enclosure. The glass units also utilized Pilkington Optiwhite™ low-iron Trosifol® SentryGlas® interlayer laminated glass for the inboard lite for strength and ultra-clear color clarity, thereby allowing the blue-green colored glass to be as true as possible from the exterior. This combination provided the utmost in energy efficiency, glare control, and overall occupant comfort. The glass units featured a special glazing make-up where the point-supported Pilkington 905 series bolt fitting head is concealed within the interior of the unit, clamped against laminated lite only. This system, known as Pilkington Planar™ Intrafix, uses no exposed fittings penetrating the structural silicone-glazed outboard lite. Aside from a very clean aesthetic, this also allows window washers to clean down the exterior of the wall without any dirt getting trapped around fittings which can happen with exposed caps or bolts.

 

LAX Terminal 4 Connector Building - Photo 5

 

 

The design featured a minimal back-up structure using a thin, curved AESS steel plate beam and stainless steel sag rod design connected back to columns. The beams at each level act as a lateral bracing while the stainless tension rods transfer the dead load of the glass to the head structure and pick up the sag of the plate beams between columns. The beams are located at each level to provide a location to connect the fittings for the four-point supported glass panels. The complete system was engineered and supplied by W&W Glass in concert with Pilkington. 

 

LAX Terminal 4 Connector Building - Photo 7

 

 

The new CAL Green Certified-space will include a Checked Baggage Inspection, South Matrix Interline Baggage Transfer facility, and a four-lane Passenger Security Screening Check Point. A South Terminals Passenger Bus Port is also being added for future use, and a public plaza will be built for outdoor seating on the upper level. Now, thanks to a network of tunnels, corridors, and the new connector, anyone traveling between the Bradley Terminal and Terminals 4 (American), 5 (Delta), 6 (Alaska), and 7/8 (United) will be able to walk back and forth without leaving security. Sometimes, the fastest aspect of air travel can happen on the ground.

 

Photo courtesy of LA Times

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Traffic, Congestion, and Space Are Not Just an Issue for Travelers at Airports

Ever wonder why construction takes so long at airports? It’s because it isn’t easy…there are many obstacles involved that are not associated with regular metropolitan projects.  There are many complex problems to solve in order to comply with federal regulations, in addition to working in a 24/7 operating environment.  Besides the design of the new construction or renovation, the structures almost always have integrated components connecting to existing terminals and in close proximity to active runways. Coordination with adjacent trades, specifically concrete, HVAC, metal panels, and structural steel can be challenging on a complicated three-dimensional grid. Over the years, W&W Glass has earned a reputation of developing unique solutions to sophisticated problems. A good example is their recent success on The Westin Denver International Airport hotel project. This project featured a conical, sloped tension cable Pilkington Planar™ system facade. Many architects, engineers, and contractors have turned to W&W Glass when it comes to providing the custom structural glass enclosure systems for the nation’s premier airports.

 

International Airport – Terminal D in Las Vegas, NV

 

Few airports are busier at all times of the day than McCarran International Airport – the gateway to sin city Las Vegas.  Terminal D at McCarran is no exception.  W&W Glass was contracted to help create a structural glass system to take advantage of the more than 300 days of sunlight, while accenting the building alongside the tarmac.  Glaziers used tried and true techniques, along with high-quality materials, to build a structure that would stand up to the harsh desert climate while keeping occupants comfortable with a great view outside. The Pilkington Planar™ vertical walls used Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron laminated glass secured with 905 fittings to steel tension truss back-up structures with integrated horizontal shading devices.  The enclosure system is so tall that it even allows incoming visitors to see full-size palm trees right through the facade.

 

AIRPORTS

 

Tampa International Airport

 

Airport officials and architects from Gresham Smith and Partners in Tampa envisioned a 30-foot-wide by 40-foot-tall structural glass signage wall system to highlight the location of the parking garage.  The stainless steel tension structure was custom engineered to cantilever away from the building while supporting the full weight of the glass. The Pilkington Optiwhite™ low-iron glass panels used more than 28 custom silk-screens to create the Tampa Airport logo in a white color frit. W&W Glass engineered and supplied the complete Pilkington Planar™ Integral system using laminated glass panels measuring approximately 6-feet wide by 6-feet tall each. The Integral laminated glass lite feature proprietary fittings that are laminated inside the glass with no exposed bolts or caps on the outside. This allows for uninterrupted viewing of any art or screen-print pattern along with easier facade maintenance.

 

AIRPORTS

 

Huntsville Alabama International Airport

 

W&W Glass worked with Chapman Sisson Architects to develop a grand entrance to North Alabama’s busiest airport.  This project took skilled glaziers from North Alabama Glass for installation, and expert engineering from Pilkington/W&W to execute the inverted, sloped Pilkington Planar™ system vertical walls.  The exterior face glass was manufactured with grey Low-e insulating glass units comprised of a Solar Grey outboard lite and clear inboard lite with Pilkington K Low-e on the #3 surface.  The ¾” clear monolithic tempered glass fins hold the face glass in place with countersunk bolt 905 fittings.

 

AIRPORTS

 

San Diego International Airport

 

When HTNB/San Diego International Airport needed to create several point-supported structural glass partitions, railings, elevator enclosures, and signage for San Diego International Airport they knew intricate glass design and construction expertise was required. While these elements needed to be safe and functional, they also had to be as beautiful and breathtaking as one of the most gorgeous cities in the United States.  They relied on W&W Glass/Pilkington due to their prior experience with airport installations and sophisticated system designs for buildings in high seismic areas.  The vertical railings were manufactured with clear SentryGlas® Interlayer laminated glass, some even included a custom “bubble” silk-screened print.  For “Sunset Cove” signage and a prominent elevator enclosure, designers used clear SentryGlas® Interlayer laminated silk-screened glass with custom patterns.

 

AIRPORTS

 

There are many more airport projects and unique system designs that the professionals at W&W Glass have worked on.  To see how the W&W team engineers and completes more structural glass projects like these, click on wwglass.com to learn more.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Metro Transportation Project Highlights

Transportation Means Many Things to Many Different People.

 

Trying to define “transportation” in one category is about as easy as building a car that suits everyone.  In it’s most simplistic form it is a method of moving people from Point A to Point B, but every situation has its unique challenges. Mass transit in a metropolitan area only increases the complexity of transportation. When it comes to architectural design and construction of transit locations, transportation requires the creation of highly visible and functional stations with an appealing, comfortable environment for travelers (who are almost always in a rush to get to their destinations). This is no easy feat.

 

Metro Transportation

 

W&W Glass has over three decades of experience meeting the challenges of renovating or constructing new structural glass enclosures for high-traffic transportation facilities without sacrificing featured design elements. Leading architects and design firms rely on W&W to bring their visions to life no matter what obstacles, issues, or hurdles there may be.

 

Manhattan’s Dyckman Street Station

 

Transportation can be very personal. Not that long ago, if you were in a wheelchair in the Northern Manhattan section of Inwood near Dyckman Street, your mobility to travel was extremely limited. A typical flight of stairs to an elevated subway train platform would have been insurmountable. There were only a limited number of subway stations in the area that were handicap accessible, necessitating creativity and patience for anyone requiring accessibility. W&W Glass was chosen to help with the $31 million upgrade to the station which features a Pilkington Planar™ point-supported  structural glass elevator enclosure with large windows, offering lots of natural light. Also now in place are new concrete platforms, a handicap accessible ramp at the station entrance, canopies with salvaged wood rafters, granite floor tiles, and mosaic tile signage.

 

The glass energy-efficient elevator is the first of its kind to be installed in New York City’s transit system. It features an energy-efficient, reliable, Machine Room-Less (MRL) elevator system. The elevator uses conventional steel cord ropes as hoisting cables operated by a motorized traction hoisting machine installed at the top.

 

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) West 34th Street Station Entrance

 

The glazing professionals at W&W Glass brought light, height, and depth to the LIRR station on West 34th Street in New York City. For the project, they teamed up with the architecture firm of Kliment Halsband Architects to transform a common place opening into a shining showpiece that is pleasing to the eye and easily spotted from a distance.  This project required using clear laminated glass for the face, vertical walls, and roof supported with sturdy Pilkington Planar™ 905 fittings to connect to the steel structure.

 

Metro Transportation

 

Bowling Green Subway Station

 

In their rush to catch a train, the common traveler may not be able to appreciate the complexity and precision required to construct a functional, yet decorative canopy like W&W Glass accomplished for the overarching Bowling Green Subway Entrance in New York City.  Using a Dattner architectural design, the glaziers expertly constructed the glass canopy system with Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron SentryGlas® Interlayer laminated silk-screened glass with a 40% white dot silk-screen on the second surface. Optiwhite low-iron SentryGlas® Interlayer laminated glass was used for the vertical side walls as well. The glass was secured back to a steel structure with Pilkington Planar™ 905 fittings.

 

W&W Glass understands the challenges of transportation projects because they have repeatedly been the preferred choice to work on many of these types of projects, each requiring customized solutions to suit design aesthetics and performance. They have recently worked on the Expo Center Phase II Train Maintenance Building in Santa Monica, California using Pilkington Planar™ Intrafix insulating glass fin walls.  The Intrafix fittings are completely concealed inside the insulating glass unit without any exposed exterior bolt heads.  They are also a key supplier for the upcoming Third Street Light Rail project (three separate stations with structural glass canopies and walls) in San Francisco, CA, to be completed over the next few years.

 

Metro Transportation

 

For more information on all the metro transportation projects W&W Glass professionals have completed, go to wwglass.com and look under the portfolio section.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Point-Supported Applications for Transportation Hubs

Point-supported glass has been used for a wide range of applications since its introduction over sixty years ago. Previously we’ve discussed how street facing storefront facades  can greatly benefit from point-supported structural glass in order to best display their products. Today we’re going to look at how these systems can be applied at transportation facilities such as airports, cruise terminals and train stations, giving them a classy, luxurious look.  

 

McCarran Airport – Terminal D in Las Vegas, NV is a perfect example of what point-supported systems can achieve for these facilities. The highly transparent cable tension facade provides a great look out at the planes touching down on the tarmac and at the Sin City desert beyond. Aside from providing a great view, the structural glass wall also integrates horizontal shading devices. These devices connect to the cable trusses to help keep the harsh sun out of the eyes of occupants.

 

 
 

On a much smaller scale, point-supported glass canopy systems are great for rail terminals, bus stations, and any outdoor staging area where you need shelter from the elements. The Muni Metro Canopies in San Francisco, CA are great examples of glass canopies that provide function with a unique design. The flexibility of these systems allows for a range of applications and styles that can be suited for any project.

 
 

 
 
The Norfolk Cruise Terminal in Norfolk, VA is another great example of a custom enclosure tailored for a transportation facility. By using a point-supported glass fin wall, the lobby of the terminal provides a high and wide view of the harbor, allowing passengers to view boats as they arrive and depart. It’s a system that’s perfect for the terminal, not unlike McCarran Airport, because it was designed with the facility in mind.
 
 
 
 
Sometimes the style of the project alone can give an impression of luxury and class. The Bowling Green Metro Station in New York City is a great example of a glass canopy that has a simple, but sleek design. It’s more than just a shelter; it’s a statement in the heart of the financial district. The glass canopy is an inviting entrance to passengers.
 
 

 
 

No matter what kind of transportation hub you are designing, point-supported glass facades are a great solution that can be fit to any application. From large, complex structural glass skylights or walls at airport terminals to simple windscreen walls and canopies at bus terminals, the range of styles can fit the needs of any facility. If you’re interested in learning more about how W&W Glass can help you with your next project, feel free to contact us, and we’ll help you get started.

 


W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

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