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

  1. #1

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


    November 28, 2002
    Unusual Planning Duel Over Kennedy Terminal

    THE 40th anniversary of Eero Saarinen's breathtaking T.W.A. Flight Center at Kennedy International Airport was marked this year in an unusual way. No cake. No candles. Just lights out. The terminal was shut down.

    Whether it ever reopens — and how it will be used if it does — is at stake in a planning duel with a curious twist. Airport authorities say the sinuous, sculptural building might find new life as a restaurant, conference center or museum. Preservationists say it should stay an airline terminal.

    In fact, the Municipal Art Society is proposing the addition of new concourses and gates to the landmark Saarinen structure, an expansion that would require the demolition of the former National Airlines Sundrome nearby, a less celebrated but still distinguished building designed by I. M. Pei.

    "This preserves Saarinen's ideas of entry and vista," said Frank E. Sanchis III, executive director of the society, speaking of a conceptual plan prepared by H3 Architecture. "The integrity of his vision is maintained."

    Theo Prudon, the president of Docomomo U.S., which concerns itself with the conservation of modern architecture, said, "For a building like this to be viable — viable both philosophically and, frankly, economically — it has to have an airline use."

    When preservationists urge that a building's intent and function be safeguarded along with its physical shell, and when some of them are prepared to trade a Pei for a Saarinen, one can safely say that a corner has been turned. Even in a building where you'd be hard pressed to find a corner.

    Unlike the battle over Pennsylvania Station, which reached a climax in 1962 just as the T.W.A. Flight Center opened, there is no proposal on the table to demolish the structure, at least not the main building, now designated Terminal 5, with its spread-eagle concrete roof and tubular corridors.

    "We remain committed to protecting Terminal 5," said Pasquale DiFulco, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, "and enhancing its role as an airport centerpiece."

    But the authority is also adamant that a terminal designed in an era of Constellations and built at the dawn of the 707 jetliner is "inadequate to meet passenger, baggage and security standards required for contemporary aviation operations."

    No airline has stepped forward to request the terminal since American Airlines abandoned it in January, Mr. DiFulco said. (Trans World Airlines ended operations there in October 2001 after it was acquired by American.)

    The future outlined by the authority involves an enormous new C-shaped terminal around the Saarinen building, for the use of several airlines, JetBlue Airways among them. The number of gates would grow to 51 from the current 37.

    The Saarinen building would be rehabilitated. But it would also be cut off, physically and visually, from the aircraft and view of the taxiways and runways. The two remote gate areas, one of which is covered by the city's landmark designation, would be demolished. The connector tubes would then join the new terminal to the Saarinen building.

    Exactly how the Saarinen building would be adapted has yet to be determined. The Port Authority plans to issue a request for proposals in the coming months.

    It must also demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration that there are no prudent, feasible alternatives to its redevelopment plan, under a federal law known as Section 4(f) requiring that transportation projects do not adversely affect historic sites.

    This has given the Municipal Art Society some leverage in the process. It submitted its counterproposal to the F.A.A. last month. "We think it's feasible and prudent," said Vicki Weiner, director of historic preservation at the society.

    Drawn up by Hal Hayes of H3 and four airport planners, the plan would preserve the remote gate areas, from which new concourses would telescope. It would append a large new structure to one end of the Saarinen building, with another concourse. All told, it would create 52 gates.

    LIKE the Port Authority plan, it would require the demolition of the former Sundrome, now Terminal 6, which is used by JetBlue. The authority has only recently received the Municipal Art Society plan and is not yet prepared to respond publicly, Mr. DiFulco said.

    While many landmarks no longer serve their original purpose, there is something satisfying about those that do, from City Hall to Grand Central Terminal.

    Grand Central may be an instructive analogy to the T.W.A. Flight Center. After all, it is no longer the "Gateway to a Continent" but a suburban commuter rail station. That does not make it any less imposing or vital.

    No amount of nostalgia will bring back the days of dressing up for air travel and eating in-flight meals with silverware. But travelers could still revel in Saarinen's soaring spaces. The question is, where would they go from there?

  2. #2

    Default Unusual Planning Duel Over Kennedy Terminal

    Thanks for the article. I had been wondering what would be done with this beautiful terminal!
    I really hope it is used by another major carrier. I remember flying out of that terminal many times on TWA and thought that while it needed some renovation, it was one of the most beautiful terminals I'd ever seen.

  3. #3


    October 2, 2003


    A New Function for a Landmark of the Jet Age


    JetBlue Airways is proposing to revive the Trans World Airlines terminal, which closed two years ago along with T.W.A., at Kennedy International Airport.

    IN its expressively sculptural forms — roof vaults that embraced travelers like sheltering bird wings, swooping walkways that propelled them to waiting jetliners — Eero Saarinen's Trans World Airlines terminal at Kennedy Airport was meant to be a prelude to flight.

    Perhaps America's most lyrical monument to the dawn of the jet age, it has nevertheless been a dead end for two years, its coves and bridges lacking the swirling crowds that brought a vital fourth dimension to the Saarinen landmark.

    Now a revival may be at hand for the 41-year-old building, known as Terminal 5, which has been empty since T.W.A. closed operations in October 2001. An aggressive young airline, JetBlue Airways, would like to use the landmark for a small part of its operations. That proposal appears to have broken a longstanding impasse over whether the building would be best preserved as a functioning terminal or as a museum piece.

    JetBlue runs 75 to 80 flights a day out of Kennedy and wants to triple that number. It hopes to build a 26-gate terminal behind the Saarinen building. The plan calls for the old and new terminals to be linked by the tubular passenger bridges that were memorably used in the 2002 film "Catch Me if You Can" as the setting of a climactic encounter between Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

    Though JetBlue's primary operations would be in the new terminal, it might install electronic check-in kiosks in the Saarinen terminal, meaning that passengers could recreate the experience of moving through that space to their planes, now A320's rather than 707's.

    "We would like to be able to embrace the Saarinen building and make it part of the JetBlue image," said Richard Smyth, the vice president of redevelopment for the three-year-old airline. The landmark, he said, could fit into JetBlue's marketing, with its midcentury modernist feel.

    However, neither JetBlue nor the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, believe the Saarinen building, in its entirety, can be transformed into a modern terminal.

    WHEN we first got here, we looked at Terminal 5 and said, `Boy, this would be cool if we could use it,' " Mr. Smyth recalled. "But we very quickly realized that it couldn't work."

    For instance, he said, there is no room for curbside check-in, no way to move baggage efficiently through the building and no place to put security equipment like bulky explosive-detecting devices. And the gently arched tubular bridges do not meet modern requirements for people with disabilities.

    William R. DeCota, director of aviation at the Port Authority, said: "It's going to become more of an airport centerpiece. You can't just make it a restaurant, a museum, a conference center. But you can make it all of these things to some extent."

    Ted D. Kleiner, the authority's assistant aviation director, also envisions travelers going to the Saarinen building to while away weather-related or other delays, a trip that will take no more than 10 minutes on the future AirTrain system. The building could also serve the 50,000 people who work at Kennedy, he said.

    JetBlue's willingness to consider some passenger use of the building has earned the tentative backing of the Municipal Art Society, which has long insisted that the only meaningful preservation of the landmark lies in restoring it as a fully functioning airline terminal, rather than as a "fly in amber."

    "We've made very encouraging progress in speaking with JetBlue and the Port Authority about a solution for a new terminal," said Frank E. Sanchis III, executive director the society, after a meeting on Tuesday. A report of that meeting is due tomorrow at the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Robert B. Tierney, the chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, said he was "very supportive" of the evolving plan.

    And Peg Breen, president of the private New York Landmarks Conservancy, said, "I think we're moving." The conservancy agrees with the Port Authority that the building is better suited for adaptive reuse. "In modern airports," she said, "all you want to do is get through lines and get through security."

    Or, as Mr. DeCota said, "Most people are not here for self-actualization."

    But his affection for the building and its kinetic energy was obvious during an inspection tour last week, when he stepped behind a sinuously curving information desk. "You can see the women in T.W.A. livery," he said.

    "You do get an emotion from this building," Mr. DeCota allowed.

    Still breathtakingly luminous, but unnervingly quiet, the Trans World Flight Center looks better today than it did in its last years of operation, when it was filled with unsympathetic accretions necessary for security and baggage-handling. Among other steps, the Port Authority has reopened the sunken waiting lounge in front of the main window, which T.W.A. had decked over and used as a ticket counter.

    The spherical clock over the bridge that once led from the Ambassador Club to the Lisbon Lounge and Paris Cafe, still tells time. "It's valiantly doing its job," Mr. DeCota said, glancing up at 11:11, "waiting for someone to see it."

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  4. #4
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    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    They better not botch this. JetBlue is one of the best companies to be created in NYC is years and their growth should be celebrated. Compromise must be reached.

  5. #5


    October 19, 2003

    J.F.K. Project Would Reopen Famed Terminal


    JetBlue Airways and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have agreed on a plan for the airline to build a modern 26-gate terminal adjacent to Terminal 5 at Kennedy International Airport, the historic Trans World Airlines Flight Center designed by Eero Saarinen, officials said yesterday.

    After intense discussions in recent weeks, JetBlue and the Port Authority, which operates the airport, reached a consensus and submitted their final comments to the Federal Aviation Administration last week. The agency has final approval on airport projects and is expected to make a decision within a month.

    Richard J. Smyth, vice president of redevelopment at JetBlue, said all parties "feel pretty good" that the plans will be approved.

    "We finally arrived at a consensus and made a formal recommendation to the F.A.A. with an approach that seems to be the best plan for everyone," he said.

    If approved, the $600 million project would be a bold, ambitious move during a dismal economic time in the airline industry and would help JetBlue, the largest domestic carrier at Kennedy, greatly expand its operations there.

    The deal would also revive Terminal 5, famed for its distinctive modern style but closed since October 2001 when Trans World Airlines ceased operations.

    "With the building empty, it continues to deteriorate," Mr. Smyth said. "This plan saves a historic building and allows the appropriate upgrade for a modern airline, so we can grow at J.F.K."

    The 41-year-old terminal is a city landmark. But after it closed, several New York preservation groups feared that it might be declared obsolete by airport officials and demolished. They began fighting for a development project that would include it as a functioning terminal, rather than a museum piece.

    Frank E. Sanchis III, executive director of the Municipal Art Society, which was involved in the discussions, called the final recommendations a "happy solution."

    "The plan provides a functional use for one of the most wonderful buildings ever designed to board an airplane from," he said.

    Alan Hicks, a Port Authority spokesman, said the agency was working with all parties, including JetBlue and the Municipal Art Society, to make sure that Terminal 5 remained in use. "It is a magnificent work of art, and we are very proud of it," he said.

    Mr. Smyth said the existing terminal would serve as an alternative entrance to the proposed terminal behind it and would have automated JetBlue ticket kiosks. The Port Authority would control the older terminal, he said, and evaluate proposals for uses, which could include a conference center, restaurants, shops and offices.

    The new terminal would be connected to the existing one by its two well-known tubular passenger walkways, which were used in the 2002 film "Catch Me if You Can" as the setting of a climactic encounter between Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

    Under the current recommendations, at least one original walkway would be preserved, with the other possibly modified or rebuilt to contain a moving walkway.

    JetBlue operates 80 flights per day out of Terminal 6, but wants to triple that number by 2010, which the proposed 26-gate terminal would allow the airline to do, Mr. Smyth said. JetBlue hopes to finish it by mid-2007, and to pay for much of the cost through the sale of bonds, Mr. Smyth said.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  6. #6
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    Jun 2003
    New Jersey


  7. #7


    This agreement sounds very much like a "win-win": the terminal wasn't going to work as such anymore, and the addition keeps Saarinen's beauty open to the world.

    A preservation solution that actually works for both sides? Mirabile dictu!

  8. #8
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    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Sounds great! Is there going to be an AirTrain station added to the terminal now that it'll possibly be reactivated?

  9. #9
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    Jun 2003
    New Jersey


    There never was going to be a Airtrain Station for T-5 even when it was active, there's a Air train station being built at Terminal 6.

    As part of this project they will tear down Terminal 6, the Airtrain station at T-6 will be connected to this new terminal via a skywalk etc.

    It's not that far, T-5 and T-6 are close together which is why they only built one Airtrain station.

    The Airtrain will not stop directly in front of this new terminal, but it will be connected to the side where T-6 now stands.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2003
    New Jersey


    Here's a rendering from a 2001 NY Times article on the new terminal, note the Airtrain station on the side of the terminal where T-6 now stands.

    Also note that this is from 2001, back then the plan was to house United Airlines, TWA, Jetblue and America West in this terminal which obviously has alot of gates.

    Now they are building it just for JetBlue since TWA is out of business, UAL has drastically reduced their JFK flying due to CH-11, and America West being happy where they are. Which means it's not going to have this many gates, only 23-26 gates.

    Sorry for the poor quality, my scanner is not working so I took a picture of the Article I have with my digital camera.

    If the image does not work try the link..

  11. #11
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    Nov 2002
    New York City


    No image, link isn't working

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  13. #13
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    New York City


    That works. Thanks.

  14. #14


    August 5, 2004

    JetBlue to Build New Terminal at Kennedy


    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said yesterday that it had reached an agreement with JetBlue Airways to build a new terminal at Kennedy International Airport, a move meant to expand service and reopen Terminal 5, the airport's arching architectural landmark.

    The Port Authority also said that it had struck a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration, the New York State Historical Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to restore and find another use for Terminal 5, the gull-winged edifice completed in 1962 for Trans World Airlines and known internationally as a monument to the early days of jet-powered commercial flight. The new terminal would be connected to Terminal 5 by two pedestrian tubes.

    "Generations to come can marvel at this architectural masterpiece," Gov. George E. Pataki said of the plan to revitalize Terminal 5, which was designed by the architect Eero Saarinen, and has been closed since T.W.A. ended operations in 2001.

    For JetBlue, a fast-growing domestic airline that made its first flights out of Kennedy in 2000, the deal represents a major financial commitment to New York City as its base. The Port Authority said the new terminal would be built on a 70-acre tract and cost $850 million, with construction expected to begin in 2005.

    Details of the financing remained unclear yesterday. The Port Authority said it would share the $850 million construction bill with JetBlue.

    The Port Authority said that JetBlue had agreed to operate the new terminal under a lease that would run up to 34 years, but that financial terms of the lease remained to be worked out.

    JetBlue, which carries about seven million passengers a year through Kennedy, has quickly emerged as the airport's busiest carrier, even though it offers few international flights. It serves 25 cities across the United States and two in the Dominican Republic.

    The airline has said it wants to triple its business out of Kennedy, and its new 640,000-square-foot terminal would provide 26 new passenger gates. The plan also calls for a connecting bridge to the AirTrain station, a parking garage with 1,500 spaces and the connecting tubes to Terminal 5, where JetBlue said it would provide two electronic ticket kiosks for customers who want to walk through the historic structure.

    "We eagerly await the day when Terminal 5 will become JetBlue's home too," said JetBlue's chairman, David Neeleman. The agreement announced yesterday came after years of debate between aviation planners and preservationists over the fate of Terminal 5, which no airlines had expressed an interest in using for passenger service. Its architecture, considered breathtaking by some, is deemed out of date by the airline industry.

    One earlier idea offered by the Port Authority was to build an enormous C-shaped terminal around the Saarinen building, which would be used by several airlines. That plan would have rehabilitated Terminal 5, and had envisioned connecting the building to the new terminal with pedestrian tubes similar to those in the deal announced yesterday.

    But the earlier plan provoked determined opposition from the Municipal Art Society and preservationists, who said it would cut Terminal 5 off from taxiways and runways and overwhelm the aesthetics of its winged architecture.

    Port Authority officials said yesterday that their agreement with JetBlue called for a far smaller building, which would be directly behind Terminal 5 and would not undermine its architectural appeal.

    Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said that the agreement would preserve "a fundamental part of the airport's past, while we also employ good business sense to meet our future needs."

    But exactly how Terminal 5 will be used, besides as a small diversion for JetBlue passengers walking to and from their new terminal, has not been determined. The Port Authority said it was in contact with more than 40 firms interested in restoring and redeveloping the building for a variety of uses.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  15. #15



    August 5, 2004, NEW YORK, NY—An agreement between JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was approved yesterday for a new terminal at JFK International Airport, to be designed by Gensler… Architecture, Design & Planning Worldwide. The 625,000-square-foot terminal will have 26 contact gates with a projected 20 million passengers passing through a year. Construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2004 for a projected opening in 2008. Gensler is building and interior architect, Ammann & Whitney is the structural engineer, Arup is MEP engineer and Design Coordinator, and BNP Associates is the baggage handling consultant.

    "JetBlue takes its customers across the country for as little as $99, and they do it in style. So for their new terminal at JFK International Airport, JetBlue wanted a building that reflected their commitment to service and efficiency," said David Epstein, Gensler's Design Principal for the project.

    The new structure's trim, low profile creates a respectful background to the former TWA terminal just opposite. However, the new design is also distinguished from the soaring concrete curves of the old terminal with geometric lines and a taut metal and glass enclosure that create a contemporary feel.

    JetBlue customers will approach the new terminal via a new departures roadway or a bridge extension from the Airtrain station. After proceeding through ticketing and security areas, passengers will continue to the junction of three concourses where the "marketplace will offer a variety of food choices to take on board in addition to places to relax and dine before taking off.

    "New York City is a very important market for us," said Richard Smyth, Vice President of Redevelopment with JetBlue. "Working with Gensler to create a JFK terminal that truly serves our customers is a wonderful milestone for JetBlue."

    "This is a post-9/11 design that not only accommodates the latest security requirements but also creates an enjoyable and humane experience for passengers in this new era of air travel," said Bill Hooper, Gensler's Managing Principal for the project and an aviation security expert with the firm. "With a design focusing on efficiency of movement and operational ease, the new terminal evokes JetBlue's commitment to customer service."

    Gensler...Architecture, Design & Planning Worldwide is a leading global design, planning and strategic consulting firm, with 1700 people and offices in 25 cities. Gensler received recognition from the prestigious Business Week / Architectural Record (BW/AR) Awards for projects that demonstrate the power of architectural design to meet strategic business goals. Gensler was ranked Number One on World Architecture's survey of international interior design firms, and other industry publications consistently rank Gensler as the world's leading architecture and interior design firm. Fast Company Magazine calls Gensler "one of the world's most influential design firms." Gensler's multi-textured expertise drives a focused exploration of how people experience the world around them; Gensler teams then use that knowledge to create design solutions that give clients a fresh, competitive edge.

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