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Thread: JFK Airport Terminal 5 - by Eero Saarinen | Renovation & Expansion - by gensler

  1. #16
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    20 million per year just at Jet Blue? JFK does about 35 million per year total now, right?

  2. #17

    Default JFK Airport Terminal 5

    Destination Unknown

    Eero Saarinen’s last work, the TWA Terminal at JFK, will soon enjoy a second, temporary life as a Kunsthalle. And after that—who knows? As Cathy Lang Ho reports, the future of the modernist masterpiece is as open as the sky.

    Photography by Dean Kaufman.

    Long before Santiago Calatrava unveiled his architectural allegory for flight that will become the downtown PATH station, Eero Saarinen gave New York City a symbol that captured the grace and excitement of the jet age by mimicking the shape of a soaring bird. Since its completion in 1962, the TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport has served as an icon of both modern air travel and modern design. But its daring gull-winged construction—a reinforced concrete sculpture that tested the limits of its material and of what modernism could be—was the source of its distinction as well as downfall. The building’s stand-alone, sinewy form made it difficult to adapt it to the rapidly modernizing airline industry. Larger airplanes, increased passenger flow and automobile traffic, computerized ticketing, handicapped accessibility, and security screening are just a few of the challenges that Terminal 5 (as it’s officially known) could not meet without serious alteration. When the terminal closed in 2001 (in the wake of TWA’s demise in 1999), no other airline stepped up to take over the space.

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PA) did, however, receive dozens of expressions of interest from sources ranging from the Finnish government to the Municipal Art Society to the Partnership for New York City. “We expected to hear from preservationists, cultural organizations, and business people, but what surprised us was the number of requests we got from the general public—regular people, travelers—who are just deeply interested in this building,” said Ralph Tragale, manager of government and community relations for the Port Authority. One of the requests came from Rachel K. Ward, an independent curator who worked previously with the theme of tourism and the cross influences of global travel and global art in an exhibition in Switzerland. Her particular interest in tourist sites and destinations was the basis of an idea to stage a series of installations that respond to and are situated within the arch-symbol of commercial travel itself. The result, Terminal 5, presents site-specific works by 18 artists, as well as a series of lectures, events, and additional temporary installations (see sidebar), on view from October 1 to January 31. “The building is such a potent symbol, representing so many things—air travel, the 1960s, transitions, globalism,” said Ward. “Each artist had a unique response.” First lady of text messaging Jenny Holzer has, naturally, staked out the arrivals and departures board, while Ryoji Ikeda has created a series of light and sound installations for one of the tunnels. In mid-September, Vanessa Beecroft filmed a live performance piece in the terminal—her first since 2001— which will be screened in the space. Toland Grinnell, known for his penchant for luggage, will make use of the baggage claim area. “What’s exciting to me is that the artists are using the building’s forms to create works that will only exist in this space,” said Ward. Organizers are trying to arrange a shuttle service from Manhattan, and encourage the use of the new AirTrain.

    Ward’s timing was an important reason why the PA accepted her proposal. The exhibition’s run precedes a long period of construction that will not end until 2008. “The exhibition is a great opportunity to let the public enjoy the space,” said Tragale, “and to show other potential uses for it.” Plans for Terminal 5’s future have been contentious, with a battle played out publicly last year between the PA and preservationists who objected to a new terminal design concept that would have engulfed the landmark. Critics blasted the inital plan’s intent to cut off Terminal 5’s views of the runway, which motivated the design’s floor-to-ceiling windows. They also objected to the idea that it would no longer be used as a functioning terminal. At that time, Kent Barwick, the president of the Municipal Art Society, said, “By eliminating use of the terminal, you’re condemning the building to a slow death.” Even Philip Johnson, who knew Saarinen, weighed in, telling The Los Angeles Times earlier this year, “This building represents a new idea in 20th-century architecture, and yet we are willing to strangle it by enclosing it within another building. If you’re going to strangle a building to death, you may as well tear it down.”

    In October 2003 Jet Blue entered an agreement with the PA to expand its presence at JFK. The upstart domestic airline—the busiest at JFK, accounting for 7 million of the airport’s 30 million passengers yearly— was initially interested in the possibility of actively using the Saarinen structure but found that the cost to retrofit the relic exceeded that of building an entirely new terminal. Jet Blue commissioned Gensler and Associates to design a new terminal adjacent to Terminal 5, which, though still in concept phase, was released last month. The $850 million, 625,000-square-foot terminal is much smaller and more respectful of its site than the initial concept that so riled preservationists last year. “The sheer reduction in size makes it better, but we’re still concerned about the terminal being an active space,” said Theodore Prudon, president of DOCOMOMO-US. “If it becomes just a left-over space, it’s a disservice to the building. Also, it’s more vulnerable if it’s economically unviable.” “Terminal 5 will be used, but the question is how intensely,” said Bill Hooper, senior principal in charge of the project at Gensler. “We’re still in design development now, trying to figure out how to make as much of the original terminal work.” Gensler’s design begins with the renovation of the two tunnels that extend from the terminal to connect to waiting airplanes, known as Flight Wing Tube #1, which was part of Saarinen’s original design, and Flight Wing Tube #2, which was designed in the late 1960s by Roche Dinkeloo to support 747s that did not exist when the terminal was first built. A new plaza will occupy the space between the two terminals, allowing visitors a view, until now unseen, toward Terminal 5’s backside.

    Beyer Blinder Belle will oversee the structure’s restoration to its 1962 state. The process will involve undoing four decades’ worth of alterations and additions, such as new baggage rooms and a sun canopy that was attached to the façade. For its part, Jet Blue has expressed its desire to integrate the Saarinen building into its corporate image. As a result, Gensler’s design is low profile, “which reflects both its placement behind Terminal 5 and the way Jet Blue does business,” said Hooper. Jet Blue has also made the Terminal 5 exhibition possible, signing on as a major sponsor. After the exhibition closes, the PA will issue an RFP for the structure’s adaptive reuse. “We’ve heard ideas for a museum, a restaurant, a conference center,” said Tragale. “We’re open to what the business community has to offer.”

    Cathy Lang Ho is an editor at AN.

    Copyright © 2004 The Architect's Newspaper
    The Architect's Newspaper LLC, P.O. Box 937 • New York, NY 10013
    tel. 212-966-0630

  3. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    The Catskills


    Link to some interior shots from a preview party for the Terminal Five art exhibit

    Terminal Five art exhibit official web site:

  4. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    The Catskills


    New York Times: October 7, 2004

    Port Authority Shuts Art Exhibit In Aftermath Of Rowdy Party

    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has shut down an art exhibition in Terminal 5 of Kennedy Airport after a raucous opening-night party on Friday that left broken glass on the floor, graffiti on the walls and further destruction in its wake, the agency said yesterday. Pasquale DiFulco, a spokesman for the Port Authority, which operates the airport, said the curator of the show, Rachel K. Ward, had "failed to control the unlawful behavior of her guests" at the event. "We pulled the permit because the curator violated her agreement," he said.

    Besides smoking in the building and defacing the walls with graffiti, some guests broke a door leading to a runway, Mr. DiFulco said. Liquor was being sold at the party without a permit, he added, and Ms. Ward failed to maintain the space to "an acceptable level of cleanliness." Vomit and broken glass were on the terminal's floor, he said.

    Ms. Ward, who acknowledged that the crowd had exceeded her expectations - hundreds of people showed up - said she ended the party around 11 p.m., an hour earlier than planned. "We have not had an opportunity to respond to these allegations," Ms. Ward said of the authority's decision to close the show. "My lawyers are in negotiations. We want to keep the exhibition open as originally planned."

    The show, an exhibition of contemporary installations, by nearly 20 artists, on the theme of airports and modern travel, was to have run through Jan. 31. Terminal 5, Eero Saarinen's 1962 landmark building, was home to T.W.A. until it was closed as a passenger terminal in 2001. It has mostly been vacant since, although Steven Spielberg used it in scenes for his movie "Catch Me If You Can."

    "I've been working on this for a year and am looking for a resolution," said Ms. Ward, 27. "The point is to give the public access to this landmark."

    The terminal closed the show at noon on Tuesday. Ms. Ward said she sent a letter to the Port Authority indicating her willingness to work on any suggested changes to enable the show to continue. But the agency seemed unlikely to reverse its decision. "The permit was pulled, and that's where we stand," Mr. DiFulco said.

    Jet Blue, which together with the Port Authority is planning to build a terminal behind Terminal 5 that will be linked to the Saarinen building, was one of the show's biggest sponsors, donating more than $100,000. "Everyone at Jet Blue is crushed, although we support the Port Authority's decision," said Gareth Edmondson-Jones, a spokesman for the airline. "We've been working for months to make this a special event for New Yorkers which has now been spoiled because of a curator's poor management and lack of respect for the Saarinen building. "It was a chance to showcase art in a landmark terminal which had been closed for the last three years."

    The exhibition was meant to respond to the building's biomorphic design and original purpose. L.E.D. text messages by Jenny Holzer were installed on the arrivals-and-departures board. The Japanese sound artist Ryoji Ikeda used a tunneled walkway as a sound-and-light installation.

    Some works played off the items one would find in an airport. The sculptor Tom Sachs created a McDonald's sign made of foam core with Japanese characters. Another sculptor, Toland Grinnell, exhibited two of his ostentatiously customized trunks near one of the terminal's baggage claims. A photograph by Richard Prince based on the Marlboro Man ad was displayed next to a real ad for the cigarette.

    Even before the exhibition was installed there was trouble. The Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft was to have exhibited photographs and a video of a performance held in the terminal for a private audience. Her work, "VB54," featured 36 young women standing in formation in the sunken waiting area, wearing only Afro wigs, black body paint and silver shackles on their ankles.

    After the work was previewed at a private reception on Sept. 28, officials at JetBlue asked that "VB54" be removed from the show. They said that Ms. Ward had violated an agreement to let the airline review all artwork before the exhibition opened.

    "It was clearly a publicity ploy," said Mr. Edmondson-Jones. "They wanted it to seem like we were censoring the art when that wasn't the case at all. It had nothing to do with the content. They hadn't followed their own rules." Asked about the dispute, Ms. Ward said she could not comment.

    Roberta Smith contributed reporting for this article.

    2004, The New York Times

  5. #20
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    What a shame. I take it that the terminal will no longer be available for Open House New York?

  6. #21


    Not necessarily. It seems to me that the PA doesn't want Rachel Ward, not the public, anywhere near the terminal.

    Vomit and graffiti? Exactly who was invited to this party?

  7. #22


    A friend of mine worked the party. He came out of it very upset. It was a real disaster.

  8. #23


    from National Trust's 11 Most Endangered Places

    TWA Terminal at JFK International Airport
    Location: New York, New York
    Current Status: Endangered

    Exterior of the TWA Terminal (Credit: Marilyn Fenollosa, National Trust)

    Since its completion in 1962, Eero Saarinen’s curvilinear TWA Terminal at New York’s JFK International Airport has been hailed as an icon of modern design. There’s no other building like it: Its soaring, graceful form was meant to evoke the romance and excitement of flight, and even the smallest interior details -- ticket counters, chairs, signs, and telephone booths-- were designed to complement the gull-winged shell. But now, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey wants to demolish portions of the terminal and construct a hulking new terminal behind it. The proposed light rail system and the new structure will block the TWA Terminal’s view of the tarmac and leave Saarinen’s terminal isolated and functionally useless.

    Interior of the TWA Terminal (Credit: Marilyn Fenollosa, National Trust)

    UPDATE: The Municipal Art Society, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, the Preservation League of New York State, the Naitonal Trust for Historic Preservaiton and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation continue to work toward an alternate plan to preserve the terminal. In September of 2003 a consulting party meeting was held with the FAA, Port Authority, Jet Blue (the new terminal’s intended occupant) and interested public officials and private groups to urge appropriate reuse of the terminal. By keeping the dialogue with the Port Authority open, there is hope that a preservation solution can be found which incorporates the safety and efficiency needs of a modern airport facility with a sympathetic use for the historic building.

  9. #24

  10. #25

  11. #26

    Default More exterior, interior renderings

  12. #27


    They still haven't decided what's going in the Saarinen Terminal. How much longer will it sit there unused?
    Last edited by Citytect; December 14th, 2005 at 02:02 PM.

  13. #28

    Default New York Times on Saarinen terminal, Dec 18, 2005

    A Symbol of the 60's Is Set to Soar Once Again By JAKE MOONEY
    When T.W.A. ceased to exist as an airline in December 2001, its planes were repainted and its flights relisted under the name of its purchaser, American Airlines. But in New York, the troubled business left a physical legacy, a landmark terminal at Kennedy Airport that by the decade's end may once again help travelers go up, up and away.
    The building, designed by the Finnish architect Eero Saarinen and hailed since it opened in 1962 as a modern masterpiece, has sat empty for four years, regaining attention only sporadically as the site of a movie shoot or an art show gone awry - or for the squabbles over its future. But this month, with the start of construction on a JetBlue Airways terminal nearby that will incorporate the Saarinen building into its design, a truce may have been reached.
    Frank Sanchis, senior vice president of the Municipal Art Society, said his group had initially opposed the plans for the new building, which will be located behind the Saarinen terminal, for three reasons: It would dwarf the historic wing-shaped structure; part of the old terminal would be demolished; and what remained would not be integrated into the new terminal's operations.
    After years of negotiation with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the airport, the two wings that sprout from the back of the old building are still marked for demolition. But Mr. Sanchis said his other concerns had been addressed. "Now," he said, "we have a scheme that's lower, that's smaller, and we have JetBlue able to use the front, and planning to use it."
    Representatives of JetBlue and the Port Authority said that the airline would install some of its self-service check-in kiosks in the Saarinen terminal, and that arriving travelers would be able to enter either the old or the new building directly, though flight desks and security lines would be in the new building.
    According to Pasquale DiFulco, a Port Authority spokesman, the other uses of the old terminal have yet to be determined. Both its interior and exterior have been declared landmarks, and the Port Authority has placed certain restrictions on the use of the space. The options, Mr. DiFulco said, include restaurants, stores and airport services.
    For his part, Mr. Sanchis would like to see the Port Authority pay for the restoration, and JetBlue take over the space, further integrating it into its terminal. Greg Lindsay, who has written about the building for the airport Web log Connecting Flights, favors a restaurant or a club, something that speaks to its status as what he describes as "a true monument to the jet-set era."
    For Abba Tor, the terminal's structural project engineer, such concerns are secondary. "I'm just happy that the building is going to be back in use," said Mr. Tor, 82, who teaches at Columbia University's school of architecture and still remembers the first time he walked through the terminal's concrete tunnels. "To me, this is the most important thing about it."

  14. #29


    May 28, 2006
    At the New JetBlue Terminal, Passengers May Pirouette to Gate 3

    Audio Slide Show: Dance and Space

    THE Grand Foyer at Radio City Music Hall has been described as many things: a tour de force, a people's palace, even an Art Deco masterpiece. But it has not typically been described in the language of dance, as it recently was by the architect and set designer David Rockwell. The commanding room, he said, functioned as a kind of ballet master: a magnetic presence that forced people to move well and look good. "I have a vivid memory of the first time I walked up that stairway," he said, referring to the huge yet perfectly proportioned flight of steps to the mezzanine. "I had bad posture, but just being on it made my posture improve."

    Individual behavior is only part of the story; the Grand Foyer also alters the behavior of crowds, who instinctively know how to use it. Much as a dancer doing pirouettes keeps her eyes focused on a reference point so she won't get dizzy, visitors, without even realizing it, use the room's precisely deployed architectural signposts — stairway, chandelier, mirrors, doorframes — to align themselves and stay on track. As a result, Radio City can pull 5,900 people through its lobby without contusion or confusion; more than that, it does so with the theatricality and orderliness that you might imagine at a formal ball.

    For Mr. Rockwell — whose mother, once a vaudeville dancer, had hoped to be a Rockette — the dance of people in public space is not so much a matter of inborn grace or hours spent at the barre, as of how the built environment pushes us around and how we push back. His designs have explored these dynamics in a variety of settings, from upscale hotels and restaurants to the viewing platform at ground zero.

    But his latest project involves one of the most notoriously pushy environments there is: an airport terminal. Last year his firm was hired to design the "interior experience" (arrival, departure, retail space) of the new JetBlue Airways terminal being built at Kennedy International Airport. And in what may be a first for architectural collaboration, Mr. Rockwell hired a choreographer — his Broadway colleague Jerry Mitchell — to help him.

    The two men thought a lot about which public spaces in New York were well "choreographed" — that is, which shaped people's movement successfully — and which were not.

    Mr. Rockwell had been pondering the general subject for decades. Even while a student at Syracuse University, he would stand on the roof of the architecture building and study the patterns carved in the snow by a sort of unspoken group will, patterns he would later connect to those described by the urbanist William H. Whyte in his classic studies of public space. What caused them? It wasn't just expedience, because the paths were often curved, where a straight line would be more direct. People moved as they did, Whyte believed, at least in part because they sought out pleasing experiences; they voted with their feet.

    If Whyte was right, then why are so many public spaces so deeply unpleasurable — and sometimes almost dangerous — to move through? How could the exquisite choreography of Grand Central Terminal, with its powerful beams of natural light making what Mr. Rockwell called a "gateway inviting people into the city," coexist with the claustrophobic purgatory of Penn Station? (Penn Station seems to sneer and say, "Get lost!") How could the Grand Foyer at Radio City have the same function as the bewildering entry to the Marquis Theater on Broadway, which is cruel enough to suggest that the place was named for the Marquis de Sade?

    With their traffic-stopping lady-or-the-tiger mystery corridors, their dizzying hairpin escalators, their misproportioned steps that send people tumbling, such places actually seem intended to enhance human clumsiness. Whyte certainly thought so.

    "It is difficult to design a space that will not attract people," he wrote. "What is remarkable is how often this has been accomplished." In New York, if you want to feel like an oaf with two left feet, there are many places that will gladly assist you. Quite often these will be places that people cannot choose to avoid. Jury pens, Social Security offices and ticket lobbies of hit shows, facing no competition, are usually disasters, to say nothing of emergency rooms, which only a corpse on a gurney could love.

    But even those seem like successful designs compared with most airport terminals. With people and vehicles and luggage going every which way, these have always been difficult spaces to organize. A few architects have managed elegant, even poetic solutions, like Eero Saarinen's 1962 TWA terminal at Kennedy, whose soaring gull-shaped roof and swooping interiors invited travelers to imagine that they were flying even before they left the ground. But prosaic concerns like increased ridership and heightened security have turned the old buildings into dinosaurs and left what Mr. Rockwell calls their "generic and soulless" successors facing an apparently unsolvable puzzle. How do you move so many people, safely and logically and with a feeling of freedom, around a huge space that cannot in fact be free?

    Mr. Rockwell's job at the JetBlue terminal — which is being built next to the Saarinen building, now empty — required him to think both inside the box (Gensler & Associates was responsible for most of the architecture) and outside it, given JetBlue's reputation for stylish practicality. "We began with the idea of using movement to personalize the experience and deal with the emotions of travel." Or as Richard Smythe, the JetBlue executive in charge of redevelopment at the airport, put it, the job was to make the customer's movement through the terminal feel "sexy."

    Making movement feel sexy (or at least not random and leadfooted) is one possible definition of dance, which is why Mr. Rockwell brought Mr. Mitchell aboard. In the musicals they had already worked on together — "The Rocky Horror Show," "Hairspray" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" — Mr. Rockwell's sets had seemed not only to shape some of the dancing but also at times to participate in it. That the two men were about to collaborate on the musical adaptation of "Catch Me If You Can," a tribute to the innocence of flight in the Jet Set '60s, seemed like another positive omen.

    Even so, a choreographer is about as typical in an architectural design process as a dentist or a woodchuck, and the idea of the highly theatrical Mr. Mitchell presenting his ideas to structural engineers and efficiency experts probably raised a few eyebrows. But Mr. Rockwell likes unusual collaborations; he enlisted Todd Oldham, the fashion designer, to help develop the color scheme for the Kodak Theater in Hollywood and had the underground cartoonist Gary Panter working with him on a Disney cruise ship project.

    In any case, Mr. Mitchell took one look at the JetBlue terminal flow simulations and started dancing around the conference table at the Rockwell Group office on Union Square. "The original design made it hard to understand where you were supposed to go, either entering or leaving," Mr. Mitchell said. "Traffic diagrams showed a huge amount of path-crossing. I started to think it would be fabulous to eliminate all this crisscrossing and straight edges, which cause anxiety when they go on too long. David asked me what dance patterns I would use, and I said, 'People move easiest in circles: off and on the merry-go-round.' "

    From his many "nightmare" hours spent at O'Hare International en route to or from his family, Mr. Mitchell recognized another problem: The design did not account for what he called the "different emotional experiences" of arrival and departure.

    "Coming into an airport when you're leaving on a trip you have to slow down," he said. "You've got to arrive two hours early, and you've got security, luggage, kids, older people to deal with. That experience has to be made more leisurely. Coming back, to New York at least, you want to get out of the airport as fast as possible. You want a little Hot Wheels acceleration as you're coming off the plane and heading to the exit."

    Mr. Mitchell was talking about feelings, but for a choreographer, feelings are what get expressed through pattern and rhythm. So he and the architects looked for ways to alter the shape and pace of passenger movement within the terminal, drawing less on transportation hubs (which are patronized of necessity) and more on urban spaces that people actually choose and enjoy. At Union Square, as Mr. Rockwell explained on a recent tour through some of those sites, the paths are wide enough for pedestrians to move along them in both directions at once, allowing for the pleasure of proximity without discouraging eye contact. (Squeeze people too close, as on a rush-hour subway train, and they won't look at one another.) The paths are also gently curved, allowing some surprise about what's around the next bend. And those curves seem to stretch time; as we circulated slowly, we were always aware of how we were deviating from the Manhattan grid, which nevertheless persisted as a faint impression, like a distant drumbeat.

    "Friction is crucial for creating successful movement," Mr. Rockwell said. At Union Square — a green platform raised like a stage between streets that bustle with normal urban activity — that friction causes pedestrians to slow down, even if they don't mean to stop. At Times Square, where the streets do not recede but instead seem to multiply, the ambient rhythm accelerates. If a tourist unfamiliar with the beat stops to gawk, he is inevitably shoved along. (Successful movement doesn't always mean leisurely movement; Whyte liked a "nice bustle" of up to seven people per foot of walkway a minute.) At the Channel Gardens arcade leading down to the ice rink in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the contrast between the mass of the buildings on either side and the void in between sucks passers-by down toward the rink with an accelerating force that feels almost gravitational.

    But an even more fundamental rule of human movement was in operation at all these spots: People will not generally walk into large objects. So if you want the foot traffic to turn left, put an obstacle — a statue, a row of planters, a large building — on the right.

    "It's like they tell you in white-water rafting," Mr. Rockwell said. "Follow the water because it avoids the rocks."

    Out of such thoughts, and Mr. Mitchell's choreographic insights, came the Rockwell Group's solution for the JetBlue terminal. Various obstructions (principally two large bleacherlike seating areas rising up like icebergs after the security checkpoints) would subtly lead outbound travelers toward the periphery of the space — the longer, more circular route — while inbound travelers would be directed straight between them, down a level and swiftly out. The periphery walls would be curved like the paths at Union Square to slow down the outbound experience and, not incidentally, enhance the likelihood of lingering over merchandise. And the bleacherlike seating areas, improving on the usual pods of wee chairs and tables at floor level, would encourage people to get above the action and watch the shapes of the promenade that they were recently part of.

    Mr. Rockwell calls that kind of alternation, which he had pointed out in all the successful urban places we visited, "public theater": "Are we the actors? Or are the actors the other people we're looking at? What's thrilling is that it keeps flipping back and forth. The ambiguity allows people to be whatever they want."

    Mr. Mitchell expressed it less abstractly: "Is it an airport? Is it a Broadway show? What's the difference?"

    It will take a while to find out; the terminal isn't expected to open until 2008. But for Mr. Rockwell the interplay of architecture and choreography has already begun to inform his purely theatrical work. In its evocation of a biomorphic 1960's urban "eventorium," "Hairspray" contains a direct reference to Saarinen, and the show's blinking jewel-tone backdrop owes a debt, Mr. Rockwell said, to the 20-foot waterfall at the back of Paley Park on East 53rd Street. Both the waterfall and the backdrop act as unifying focal points that drag the viewer through the fourth wall, whether literally at Paley Park — it's hard not to walk in — or figuratively at the Neil Simon Theater.

    Whyte was a big fan of Paley Park; in his documentary film "City Spaces, Human Places," he showed how its architecture altered people's movement (and mood) in specific, predictable ways. That's what dance does too — to the dancers at least — and why the connection between choreographers and architects is not so far-fetched.

    The urbanist Jane Jacobs referred to the dynamics of her Greenwich Village block as the "ballet of Hudson Street," a phrase often interpreted as a tribute to the randomness of people's unpredictable daily choices. That's surely part of it, but given Jacobs's aesthetic and political convictions, it must also be a reference to the thousand quite nonrandom decisions about scale and setback and zoning that shape people's randomness. Successful public spaces invite you to join the dance of city life by first helping you to see it; without the rhythm of the street grid there could be no languorous fox trots like Union Square, no elegant struts like Bryant Park, no jitterbugs like Times Square, with everyone hopping around the traffic and bending off at Fosse angles. The city is more choreographed than we may like to think, and for better or worse, we're all hoofers within it.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  15. #30


    November 16, 2006
    A Move to Make a Silent Air Terminal Hum Again

    The landmark Trans World Airlines terminal at Kennedy Airport, which has stood empty for five years, is up for redevelopment.

    Audio Slide Show: T.W.A. Terminal

    THE Port Authority is seeking an earthbound second life for what may be the nation’s most romantic evocation of flight: Eero Saarinen’s landmark Trans World Airlines terminal at Kennedy International Airport.

    Although its swooping forms amount to a three-dimensional transcription of “Come Fly With Me,” the building’s days as a functioning terminal were numbered in 2001 with the collapse of T.W.A. Designed in the day of the Lockheed Constellation and strained almost to bursting by the Boeing 747 and its jumbo successors, the 44-year-old building now stands empty, idle and obsolete.

    Restaurant? Lounge? Spa? Shopping mall? Conference center? Museum? Theater? Botanical garden? Sculpture court? Office space? A mixture? The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is open to these ideas and “anything else that can be imagined by a redeveloper,” said its aviation director, William R. DeCota.

    By Nov. 30, the authority will formally request proposals from developers interested in renting the building for 25 years or more, renovating it and adapting it to new uses.

    Directly behind the landmark, JetBlue Airways is constructing a new Terminal 5, which is to open in 2008. The buildings will be connected through the dreamlike tubular corridors — featured evocatively in the 2002 film “Catch Me If You Can” — that once led to T.W.A.’s gates. Two electronic ticketing and check-in kiosks will be installed in the Saarinen building, so that passengers who choose to do so will still be able to go through its soaring spaces on the way to their planes.

    But something besides two kiosks must fill the 60,000-square-foot main hall, which sits under the vaulted juncture of the four curving concrete lobes that give the building its birdlike silhouette. Something must fill the galleries that once housed the Ambassador Club, the Paris Cafe and the Lisbon Lounge.

    “It isn’t just important to save the old Saarinen terminal and its phenomenal architecture,” Mr. DeCota said. “It’s important to find a thriving use. How can you continue to make this a centerpiece?”

    Mr. DeCota said he believed the audience was there, beginning with the 50 million travelers who are projected to pass through Kennedy in 2015 and the 40,000 employees who work there. JetBlue’s terminal will have a capacity of 20 million passengers a year.

    Development proposals will be due in four months. Mr. DeCota said he expected to be able to recommend a proposal to the Port Authority board by July.

    He said the developer would be responsible for renovating the terminal (this includes asbestos removal), restoring historical elements to “strict maintenance and preservation guidelines,” undoing recent alterations, adapting the building in a “minimally intrusive manner,” finding tenants and operating the new center — whatever it turns out to be. Perhaps the principal model is the commercial redevelopment of Union Station in Washington.

    The Municipal Art Society, a civic group that has been working with the Port Authority on ways to revive the Saarinen building, believes that issuing a request for proposals is an “extremely flawed” approach, said Frank E. Sanchis III, the senior vice president, not least because it means the JetBlue terminal will open before the renovation project is complete.

    Mr. Sanchis said the society favored keeping the Saarinen building in aviation use. He said the authority should have negotiated with JetBlue to undertake both the renovation and the new construction.

    Failing that, Mr. Sanchis said, the authority should have committed itself to renovating the Saarinen building and delivering it to a developer already structurally refurbished and cleared of asbestos. As it is now, he said, prospective developers may find the project too daunting.

    In response, Pasquale DiFulco, a spokesman for the authority, said: “Neither the Port Authority nor JetBlue is experienced in redeveloping and retenanting a building on this scale. We’re looking to bring in the experts who are best suited to do this.”

    JetBlue’s vice president for redevelopment, Richard J. Smyth, said being the sole tenant of the Saarinen building would not have worked operationally or financially for the airline. “More and more of our customers are checking in at home,” he said. “The whole ticketing hall experience is not what it used to be.”

    Nonetheless, he said he was not immune to the romance of the old terminal and would welcome the trend if JetBlue passengers chose to make the 150-yard detour to experience Saarinen’s architecture. So the two ticket kiosks may be just a start.

    “If there’s enough demand,” Mr. Smyth said, “I’ll put 20 in.”

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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