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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Airport hotels are useful at times for their location, but they aren’t usually very appealing otherwise.  A new hotel being built near New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport hopes to change that. MCR Development LLC has revealed new exciting designs for its TWA Hotel, which is slated to open in 18 months. The 505-room hotel will feature a luxurious roof top pool and an “Equinox-level” gym, as reported by Bloomberg News.  In addition the hotel is building a restaurant inside a refurbished TWA jet—which dates to 1962, like the terminal itself. The hotel design will be a remastering of the spaceship-like Eero Saarinen terminal.  

The hotel lobby will boast a signature sunken lounge, originally designed by Saarinen, with bright red airport seats, built into white booths, as per Tyler Morse, chief executive of MCR Development.  The lobby will encompass the center of the Jetsons-style pavilion, which will be accessible through the two original tubes linking it to JFK’s Terminal 5. The lobby will be surrounded by eight bars and six restaurants, probably setting a record number of public locals in any airport hotel. The other restaurants and bars will also keep with the hotel’s airport theme. 

The terminal’s egg-shaped old fashioned flight boards, which once clacked every few minutes with updated arrival and departure information will also be restored rather than replaced. They will now be controlled by an app, with a new board mechanism capable of displaying any relevant messaging, even a customized welcome for guests checking in. The hotel rooms will fill two curved towers currently being built, which will loosely hug the oval shape of the Saarinen building. The rooms will be sound proof, curtesy of the triple-paned standard windows. The hotel will offer 50,000 square-feet of conference and meeting spaces.  A TWA-themed museum is in the works, which will have a 10,000-square-foot public observation deck , displays of vintage uniforms and New York aviation history.  Day passes may become available to layover travelers or locals.

MCR also designed the High Line Hotel, in Manhattan’s Chelsea. That project was also a luxury adaptive reuse project.  The developer says a primary goal while designing the hotel was to restore the building to “its Jet Age condition,” after the building was inactive for the last 16 years.

“The debut of the TWA Hotel is great news for the Queens community and the growing number of travelers who pass through Kennedy Airport each year,” said Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue Airways, the principle airline in neighboring Terminal 5.

By Benyamin Davidsons