Travel | October 3, 2017 9:00 am

Long Live JFK’s TWA Flight Center, Soon to Be a World-Class Hotel

Hey, look: a time machine back to when airports didn't suck

The TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City is, without doubt, the most beautiful manmade space in the entirety of the American travel experience.

Designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen in 1962, it’s a sinuous, forever-modern building that is probably the last glamorous object in all of JFK. 

And now it’s getting an update.

Like many beautiful things (think: that Jaguar episode of Mad Men), the terminal is better at form than function: never an efficient baggage-handling facility, passenger duties have been passed to an adjoining building (Terminal 5, JetBlue’s well-received facility). Given landmark status in 1994, the TWA Flight Center has patiently awaited its new duties — which, it turns out, will be twofold: welcoming passengers and giving them a place to sleep, in the 505-room “TWA Hotel” that will be the end beneficiary of a $265 million redevelopment plan. 

TWA (5 images)

Construction is well underway. Via the New York Times

“Inside the Trans World Flight Center, water would bubble again in Isamu Noguchi’s green marble fountain in the Ambassador Lounge, softly masking the tik-a-tik-a-tik-a-tik-a-tik chatter of a Solari di Udine split-flap display board announcing flight departures and arrivals from an orchidlike sculptural pedestal.”

If that doesn’t sound amazing, you can always fly Spirit. 

Look for an opening in 2018. 

Photography by Max Touhey  (prints available here) // Renderings courtesy MCR Development