Theme Building, LAX
The Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport is a true Modern icon, recognized worldwide as the space-age landmark of one of the world’s youngest and most influential major cities.
It was designed as part of a major postwar expansion of the airport and represents the scaled-down version of an original vision in which an enormous glass dome served as the central hub for the terminal buildings and parking structures. Both the original and revised designs were spearheaded by architectural firm Pereira and Luckman, well known for its master plans as well as institutional buildings both public and private.
Completed in 1961, the Theme Building features a UFO-like restaurant suspended from the center of two massive crossed arches of stucco-covered steel. A screen wall of decorative concrete block surrounds the building, adding another Mid-Century Modern touch. The spider-like Theme Building is playful and futuristic, its confident dismissal of the constrictions of the past signaling Los Angeles’ mid-century drive to be the city of tomorrow.
It recently underwent extensive stabilization to ensure it would survive for generations to come, to remind future airline passengers of Los Angeles’ dynamic postwar growth.