I just got a chance to visit the revitalized TWA Terminal (now a Hotel) at JFK airport…in all its sensual, sinuous, and soaring glory!
Unfortunately as I was under some time pressure heading off to catch a flight in a different terminal building, I didn’t get a chance to really admire it from the outside (so the linked photos that remain from my previous post on the building will have to suffice), but what I saw and experienced inside more than made up for it. In a word, it’s stunning.
It’s decidedly classic retro-futurism (or perhaps still neo-futurist) now, but the ‘nostalgic’ feel isn’t what really got me. It’s the space, the glorious space, with it’s outstretched wings soaring overhead and how it, and its structure, and just about every other single object in the space seems to be connected, seamlessly merging and swooping and emerging from the other until it becomes a single object. And the sunbeams! They add a strong element I hadn’t considered before.
With the addition of the new jetway (and the hotel wings as well) behind the original terminal building, the huge expanse of glass no longer looks out onto the tarmac as it once would have, cutting it off a bit. But placing an old prop painted in TWA livery (which itself is now a cocktail bar) helps keep some of that old feel alive.
Ok, natch, the retro-furniture does evoke some fantastical and nostalgic feels!
The subtle tile work on the underside of all the swoops.
And I’m never going to get tired of the swooping forms lifting off into flight to become cantilevered seats, bars, counters, and more…
My photos aren’t the best here, as with the time pressure I wanted to spend more time being present and experiencing the space rather than into the camera. And glad I did, I could have spent hours more there to experience every bit of it. A true delight and masterpiece.
The TWA Flight Center by Eero Saarinen and Warren Platner.