Association for Preservation Technology International:
TWA Hotel – Transforming the TWA Flight Center
JFK Airport, Queens, New York
The TWA Flight Center, designed by Eero Saarinen, is one of the most significant examples of mid-century modern architecture in the Americas. Since its opening in 1962, the building’s expressive form helped define the modern airport terminal and served as a visual metaphor for flight. Conceived immediately before the advent of the jet age, the TWA Terminal was designed for smaller aircraft and underwent a number of modifications to adapt to the rapidly changing aviation industry. When Trans World Airlines ceased operations in 2001, the terminal was closed to the public and threatened with demolition.
Having worked to stabilize and protect the building since its closure, the TWA Hotel project is the culmination of 20 years’ involvement for Beyer Blinder Belle. The redevelopment of the TWA Flight Center reactivates this international landmark and opens it to the public as a hotel, restaurant and conference center. Completed in May 2019, the project has restored the integrity of the 1962 Flight Center, and constructed two new hotel wings and a subterranean conference center behind the historic building. The project includes a restored 1958 Lockheed Constellation airplane, a rooftop pool overlooking the JFK runway and interpretative exhibits on the history of TWA, Eero Saarinen and the mid-century Modern design movement.
AIA Credit: 1.0 AIA HSW