NONSTOP NOSTALGIA

A hotel honoring airport design of a bygone era.

Photography KEVIN SINCLAIR Architecture Design EEERO SAARINEN

The structure consists of a shell of reinforced concrete with four segments that extend outward from a central point. The concrete “wings” then unfold on either side of the exterior, preparing for flight. Within the concrete, the structure is reinforced with a web of steel.

When the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA terminal and opened it in 1962, it embodied the glamour and optimism of the jet age. The airport structure was designated a New York City landmark in 1994 and, after its 2001 closure, was listed on the national and New York State registers of historic places in 2005. Now, 18 years after it closed its doors, and less than three years since construction began, the restored building has reopened as a landmark hotel.

Looking inward, Base of the roof

Looking inward, Base of the roof

Exterior, Base of the flying roof

Exterior, Base of the flying roof

Exterior, Flying roof

Exterior, Flying roof

Entrance, Approaching to lobby

Entrance, Approaching to lobby

Built in the early days of airline travel, the TWA Terminal is a concrete symbol of the rapid technological transformations which were fueled by the outset of the Second World War. Eero Saarinen sought to capture the sensation of flight in all aspects of the building, from a fluid and open interior, to the wing-like concrete shell of the roof. At TWA’s behest, Saarinen designed more than a functional terminal; he designed a monument to the airline and to aviation itself.

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Swiss Vulcain clock. Built in the early days of airline travel, the TWA Terminal is a concrete symbol of the rapid technological transformations which were fueled by the outset of the Second World War. Eero Saarinen sought to capture the sensation of flight in all aspects of the building, from a fluid and open interior, to the wing-like concrete shell of the roof. 

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Entrance, Approaching lobby

Entrance, Approaching lobby

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In the center of the terminal’s ceiling, a Swiss Vulcain clock ticks on. The fully restored terminal houses the TWA Hotel’s lobby, conference facilities and several restaurants and bars, including the original Paris Café. Saarinen’s famous tubular passageways connect the building to the new terminal surrounding it.

In the center of the terminal’s ceiling, a Swiss Vulcain clock ticks on. The fully restored terminal houses the TWA Hotel’s lobby, conference facilities and several restaurants and bars, including the original Paris Café. Saarinen’s famous tubular passageways connect the building to the new terminal surrounding it.