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A Walk Around The Iconic "Theme" Building At LAX, Los Angeles

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Published on Oct 15, 2017

The Theme Building is an iconic Space Age structure at the Los Angeles International Airport. Influenced by "Populuxe" architecture, it is an example of the Mid-century modern design movement.

The distinctive white building resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. The initial design was created by James Langenheim, of Pereira & Luckman, subsequently taken to fruition by a team of architects and engineers headed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman, that also included Paul Williams and Welton Becket.

The appearance of the building's signature crossed arches as homogeneous structures is a design illusion, created by topping four steel-reinforced concrete legs extending approximately 15 feet above the ground with hollow stucco-covered steel trusses. To counteract earthquake movements, the Theme Building was retrofitted in 2010 with a tuned mass damper without changing its outward appearance.

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