Horizon at Playa Vista Lobbies
Los Angeles, California
Horizon at Playa Vista Lobbies
Los Angeles, California

Design does more than look nice. It profoundly affects how we interact with a space. When done well, it directs people with subtle cues on how to use the space. It pays tribute to history. It allows people to be more productive, live better lives and enjoy their surroundings.

The lobby design for Lincoln Properties, Horizon at Playa Vista was created in honor of famous flight and business mogul, Howard Hughes. Designers developed a 1-million-square-foot commercial campus set amidst a network of vintage airplane hangars and runways. The site was previously an airfield, whose hangars have more recently been used sporadically as filming locations and sound stages. The new lobbies sit directly on top of Hughes’ original runways, suggesting the tenants will soar to their own new heights. While honoring Hughes’ golden age of flight and technical innovation, the lobbies provide a tribute to modern aviation and look to the future.


The Vision

The design’s primary objective was to preserve the aeronautical atmosphere of this historical site. Additionally, the client wanted to blend the building’s corridors with the natural elements of its surrounding environment.

Spacious informal lobbies, whose natural palette are inspired by the nearby ocean, greet employees and visitors alike. The building’s tall ceilings and large windows provide wide views of the adjacent bluffs and the Santa Monica Mountains. The office complexes provide tenants with intelligently styled buildings, situated in verdant courtyards, with office space equipped with the most up-to-date services and amenities. Thus, creating a workplace environment that is functional and aesthetically pleasing for visitors and employees.


The Design

The finishes of the lobby convey an industrial aspect to the aircraft theme. They were balanced with warmer touches such as bamboo accent walls and backlit stone panels at the reception desks. The balance of warmth and light with technical innovation mirrors the continuing trend of blending old with new. The furniture in the lobby reflects this theme: the coffee tables are made from reclaimed airplane propellers, the chairs made from recycled airplane parts and photographs of old planes accent the walls. Meanwhile, the custom stainless steel-accented terrazzo floors contain an oversized compass rose guiding guests and tenants to their future destination – down the hall, into the elevator or toward the sunset view. The backlit stone accent walls reflect the topography seen from an aerial view. Abstract images of classic planes adorn the walls of each lobby. These over-sized details of the planes propose there is more than meets the eye, just beyond the horizon.

The project, which is LEED Gold certified, reduces its carbon imprint on the community. A project of this size surrounded by wetlands, Los Angeles International Airport and the historic airfields of Howard Hughes is a stunning example of breathing new life into the aging terminal.