It’s My Eero-Plane: Stepping Lightly Around Saarinen at JFK

(David W. Dunlap).jpg

It’s not easy to tiptoe around a beloved architectural landmark when you’ve got to find room for 44,000 people to pass through daily. Also hard to hide? Airplanes. Such was the challenge faced by JetBlue, the airline that in September will open a new $750 million terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport in the shadow of Eero Saarinen‘s landmark Trans World Airlines Flight Center, which will reopen this year (just the thought of it sends us straight to the designated Courreges area of our closet!).

As for the tiptoeing-around-an-architectural-icon, JetBlue looked to Gensler, which worked with DMJM Harris/Aecom and Arup. The New York TimesDavid W. Dunlap got a sneak peek:

The new Terminal 5 wraps around the back of Saarinen’s building (which is also known as Terminal 5). They will be connected through the two tubular passageways that helped create a Jet Age mystique at T.W.A. Passengers with plenty of time on their hands — and not too much luggage — will be able to pass through the Saarinen landmark on their way to the new departure hall.

And there’s more to look forward to, including rubber floors, free wireless Internet service, and a marketplace of 25 stores and 22 food outlets. As for why you haven’t heard much about this massive undertaking:

Understatement has been a hallmark of the project from the inception, since it was designed not to overwhelm the T.W.A. building. Last week’s visit disclosed another benefit of Terminal 5. It affords vantages of the landmark from the airfield side that no member of the public has ever enjoyed, except briefly through a plane window.