At Studio One Eleven, our decade-long collaboration with Long Beach Airport has been dedicated to redefining the airport experience. Focused on the belief that “bigger is not always better,” our work unfolds in three distinct phases.
Phase One – Concessions
In 2012, Long Beach Airport embarked on a journey to create a unique and gracious airport environment that defied the mundane. The airport replaced the labyrinth of temporary trailers, once used for housing security and passenger holding, with two modern terminal buildings – the North and South Concourses. These architectural marvels, situated around a lush garden court in alignment with the original 1941 terminal, introduced a new era of air travel.
The North Concourse became a haven for leisure travelers, while the South Concourse was tailored to the needs of business travelers. Our design brought 10,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space, thoughtfully curated with a contemporary aesthetic that celebrates local culture.
The addition of three distinct outdoor patios, featuring amenities like fireplaces, cabanas, and lush landscaping, transformed the airport into a relaxed resort-like atmosphere. These transformative improvements catapulted Long Beach Airport, the oldest municipal airport in California, to receive significant recognition, being awarded the California Transportation Foundation Aviation Project of the Year in 2013 and chosen as one of the top 10 most beautiful airports in the world (BBC 2014 – the only US airport on the list) and in the Top 5 airports in the United States (Condé Nast Traveler magazine) for the last two consecutive years.
Phase Two – Greeting Plaza
In 2018, Studio One Eleven continued our collaboration with the airport to enhance the spaces between airport concessions by creating an 84,000-square-foot meet-and-greet plaza, part of an $80 million expansion project. We introduced all-new paving, majestic palm trees with circular benches, custom catenary lighting inspired by flight paths, and site furnishings that connect the spaces between the ticketing, historical terminal, and baggage claim buildings. As a nod to the history of the airport the words “LONG BEACH” will be etched into the concrete paving as a distinctive feature that replicates what once was painted on the tarmac outside the historic terminal beginning in the 1940’s.
Additionally, the Airport hired us to conceptualize a renovation of the central garden space to create a more pleasurable environment for passengers, introducing more flexible seating, an outdoor performance area and flex lawn, an outdoor art gallery, and new landscaping. The expansion project is currently under phase 4 of construction. Phase 5 of the project includes plans for roadway and streetscape improvements to Donald Douglas Drive. Our goal was to create an environment that improves travel convenience and adds a touch of joy to every passenger’s flying experience.
Phase Three – Historic Terminal Preservation
The crowning jewel of Long Beach Airport, the iconic Historic Terminal, has always served as a gateway to the past and a centerpiece of the airport. Designed by renowned architects William Horace Austin and Kenneth Smith Wing, this Streamline Moderne masterpiece holds a place of honor as a Long Beach-designated historic landmark. Our restoration work was a labor of love and dedication to recapture its original splendor.
A comprehensive restoration effort, including seismic retrofitting, system upgrades, restroom improvements, and the revival of original design elements, was undertaken. A new check-in and baggage claim facility breathed fresh life into the terminal, replacing functions that had outgrown demand and faced evolving security needs. Our work also unveiled the hidden gem within the terminal – mosaic artwork by the talented artist Grace Clements, a part of Long Beach’s history that had been buried for decades.
As custodians of Long Beach Airport’s legacy, our commitment to preserving its history for generations to come is unwavering. The mosaic art, born out of the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA), exemplifies not only the enduring quality of art but also the resilience and timelessness of Long Beach’s culture.
Gold Nugget Award of Merit, Best Commercial Project Under 10,000 sf
California Transportation Foundation Aviation Project of the Year
Long Beach Airport Named One of the Nation’s Top 5 Airports
Long Beach Airport Set For Overhaul After Council Approves $58.8 Million In Improvements
Long Beach Post
Long Beach Airport Named Top 10 Best U.S. Airport Once Again by Travel Magazine
Long Beach Post
LBG: 5 Things We Love About Long Beach Airport
District La Brea
Los Angeles, CA
4th and Linden
Long Beach, CA