Eero Saarinen's JFK terminal
to become a hotel


Eero Saarinen's JFK terminal to become hotel

News: the former TWA Terminal designed by architect Eero Saarinen at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York is set to be converted into a hotel and conference centre.

Developer and hotel owner André Balazs plans to transform the 1960s structure, which has been largely unoccupied since 2001, adding a mixture of uses that will also include restaurants, bars, a flight museum and a spa and fitness centre.

Speaking to Page Six, Balazs revealed that Saarinen's curved concrete terminal in Queens would be rebranded as The Standard Flight Center, bringing it into his family of Standard hotels.

"It is a great honour to be entrusted with the preservation and revitalisation of this masterpiece by my personal architectural hero," he told the magazine, adding that his final proposal is awaiting approval from the Port Authority board.

PA director Pat Foye confirmed that negotiations are still underway: "The Port Authority is committed to preserving the essence of [Saarinen's] iconic design and to continuing to work with [Balazs Properties] on a plan to transform the historic TWA Flight Center into a one-of-a-kind hotel and conference centre in the heart of JFK’s central terminal area."

Rumours that Balazs will be leading the development of the building have been circulating for several months, despite earlier reports that airport officials felt he "wasn't the right aesthetic fit" for the renovation.

A timeframe for approval is not yet confirmed.

Other hotel proposals to surface in recent months include a resort underway inside an abandoned water-filled quarry in China and a lopsided photo frame-shaped hotel for PeruSee more stories about hotels »

  • amsam

    Great news methinks. In the US now only business has enough money to sustain historic architecture. And this period is trendy enough right now that I expect they’ll do pretty right by the detailing. It’s been a shame to have it sitting empty.

  • 1234

    NO. F****** NO.

  • James C

    Given the demands of 21st century air travel and a modern airport, this gem of a building can sadly no longer fulfill its original function. I was horrified when they were thinking of demolishing it, as I always thought it could find a new purpose as a great hub for luxury airline lounges, retail space, entertainment area (small movie theater, gym, spa, etc), aviation museum, and so forth. Especially connected to the inter-terminal shuttle train.

    If they can preserve it properly and do justice by the design, I think this proposal could be a winner.

  • david bueso

    “bringing it into his family of Standard hotels”? Eeron S. will die again in his grave. Like the idea of reusing the building but with care.

  • Mr J

    I used the Saarinen JFK a few times when it was still operational, and loved the looks, though it was obvious even then that the building was too small for a long-term future.

    So, on the assumption that the conversion is done well, the idea of a hotel get a big thumbs-up from me.