Cosmic TWA Hotel designed by legendary Eero Saarinen

The current TWA Hotel, the former terminal of Trans World Airlines (TWA), is in the New York JFK Airport. The original terminal was built in 1962 by the prominent Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. The TWA Terminal or the TWA Flight Center is one of the most forward-looking architectural forms that Eero Saarinen created and an outstanding example of structural expressionism in general, one of the most expressive styles of the XXth century.

 TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

In its image and conception, the building of TWA Hotel echoes the famous Sydney Opera House by the Danish architect Jorn Utzon. No wonder Eero Saarinen, being on the jury of the Sydney Opera House International Competition, insisted that the initially rejected project of an unknown Danish architect would be selected and implemented.

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel
The domes-wings of the TWA hotel, with breathtaking vaults inside, are the metaphor of flight in an architectural form that remains cosmic, modern, and innovative nowadays, too. The Spaceport America in New Mexico, designed by Norman Foster and completed in 2014, has a much less balanced and flattened architectural form, although similar to the Eero Saarinen's terminal.

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel
In 2001, Trans World Airlines went bankrupt, and the TWA terminal was closed. Fortunately, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission gave this building a special status of an architectural monument of New York City back in 1994 and thereby saved it from demolition. Since 2005 the construction was listed on the National Register of Historic Places of the USA. It has remained abandoned and almost forgotten for almost two decades.

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

 

But in 2019, on the eve of the coronavirus pandemic, this symbol of modern American architecture opened its doors again as a five-star TWA hotel, with the romantic, beginning-of-space-age decorations.

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel
We must pay tribute to the designers and architects-restorers of the construction since they preserve the entire original architectural forms both inside and outside. They also created bright luxury interiors, using symbols related to airports, aircraft, flights in general, the culture of the middle and second half of the XXth century.

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

The room's interior design focuses on the comfort of guests, their interest in aviation, and accessories of the twentieth century. The original red seats from the waiting area of the terminal complete the lobby and conference hall decoration.

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

The hotel has a Trans World Airlines museum, a swimming pool, a terrace with a rooftop lounge area, a shop, and a restaurant of the internationally famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

The hotel's museum presents the history of aviation, where you can also see old luggage tags, flight attendant uniforms created by Valentino, Ralph Lauren, and the work of other famous couturiers. This redesigned architectural marvel brings back a nostalgic vibe of the "space race" era romanticism.

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

TWA Hotel, architectural project by Eero Saarinen, photo by Max Touhey, photos courtesy of TWA Hotel

Angelina Vin

Editor-in-Chief

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