Target LAX

Los Angeles is a city of few hard targets. Its iconic buildings are private spaces, mostly residential, visible by invitation only, or in the pages of a Taschen book. Its central industry is as mirage-like as the projection of light on a screen. Hollywood, the business, would be just fine if someone were to destroy the Hollywood sign. The city’s there is the airport—its point of entry and exit, and in some ways its identity.

The airport, which has the largest dedicated police force in the country, is laid out like a round-cornered rectangle, open at one end, with a lovely, impractical, toy-like theme building—an old vision of the future, which time has already overtaken—at its center. The airport road is an eighties-style video-game challenge track for drivers, who zip in and out of the many lanes, dodging buses, motorcycles, traffic officers. It’s no place to be a pedestrian.