Home / ArchitectureAbandoned Airport Terminal Given New Life as a Retro-Inspired Luxury Hotel

Abandoned Airport Terminal Given New Life as a Retro-Inspired Luxury Hotel

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: Max Touhey

New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport has a new addition that’s a blast from the past. The airport recently introduced its first on-airport hotel that pays homage to the former Trans World Airlines (TWA). Once one of the country’s largest airlines, it began operations in 1930 and shuttered its doors in 2001; the Flight Center at JFK closed that same year. The expansive space has since been repurposed into a luxury accommodation aptly called TWA Hotel.

The TWA Flight Center was designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen and built in 1962—just as air travel was becoming commonplace for the general public. It features sweeping lines and an airy openness that although vintage, still feels contemporary. Rather than fighting this style, present-day architecture firms Lubrano Ciavarra, INC Architecture & Design, Beyer Blinder Belle, and Stonehill Taylor highlight the mid-century modern look.

The architects were careful to keep history alive. The lobby, as well as the business and event center, feature some of the original waiting area seating, while the music of the era—think Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the Beatles—plays overhead on a carefully curated soundtrack. If you want to know more about the Jet Age, the hotel museum has mid-century TWA on display. There are the likes of uniforms, furniture, and travel posters available for view.

Beyond the common areas, each guest room is outfitted in this retro-inspired aesthetic. A mixture of textures, including brass, wood paneling, and leather are prominently featured in the room along with accents of red (another nod to TWA). You can even make local or international calls on a rewired rotary phone.

But what about the noise? Although a hotel next to a runway might seem loud, there’s no need to worry. The floor-to-ceiling windows contain Fabrica glass that are the second-thickest windows in the world. You can see the planes land but you won’t hear them touch down.

The TWA Hotel will officially open its doors on May 15, 2019 for short-term and long-term stays.

The former TWA Flight Center at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport has recently been repurposed into the boutique TWA Hotel.

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: Max Touhey

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: Max Touhey

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: Max Touhey

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: Max Touhey

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: David Mitchell

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: David Mitchell

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: David Mitchell

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: David Mitchell

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: David Mitchell

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: Max Touhey

TWA Airport Hotel

Photo: Max Touhey

TWA Hotel: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to use images by Max Touhey and berlinrosen.

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