Arup expertise underpins the retrofit of Saarinen’s acclaimed TWA Flight Center into a world-class hotel

Jackie Wei Green Jackie Wei Green Americas Head of Communications,Los Angeles
15 May 2019

After years of sitting dormant, the iconic TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport is experiencing a rebirth. Arup was a key part of the team responsible for the comprehensive transformation of Eero Saarinen’s masterpiece, once known as the “Grand Central Station of the Jet Age”, into a 21st-century hotel.

On May 15, the first guests walked through the doors of the new TWA Hotel to experience its retro ambience, one-of-a-kind aerodynamic interiors, ultra-quiet rooms, roof top infinity pool and observation deck.

We worked with architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle and developer MCR in faithfully restoring this modern architectural marvel to its original form, while ensuring its structural stability for generations to come. Arup’s structural engineering solutions seamlessly linked together the building’s complex geometry to its new use. Two new hotel room wings and a large two-story, below-grade events space were integrated into the hotel plan without compromising the original building’s signature features.

The TWA Hotel will cater to all, offering a range of amenities including a cafe run by Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, an aviation history museum, and a 1958 Lockheed Constellation – “Connie” –  plane converted into a cocktail bar.

It was an honor to be part of the great team selected to adapt Eero Saarinen’s original vision into a contemporary hotel. Making the client’s vision a reality was a collaborative effort, and we are pleased to have provided some of the creative solutions that were instrumental to restoring this historic landmark to its former glory. ”

Jenny Buckley Jenny Buckley Principal, Americas Transport Leader