The incredible building designed by the modernist architect Eero Saarinen has regained its brightness and nearly two decades after having been left out. Inaugurated in 1962, the terminal avant-garde closes its doors in October 2001, three weeks after the tragic events of 11 September. TWA, airline mythical time of Howard Hughes, disappears ten years later, absorbed by its competitor American Airlines. Fateful year, 2011 brings to an end the legacy of fragile years of glamour, the civil aviation american. This terminal is it cursed? On may 28, 1962, nor its designer, Eero Saarinen, nor its owner the extravagant Howard Hughes attend the opening of the flaming terminal of the airport of New York. Saarinen died in 1961 at the age of 51 years.
In 1960, Howard Hughes is ruled out of the presidency of TWA because of his eccentricities. It is not at the origin of the choice of Eero Saarinen to build the terminal. In 1955, Rex Werner the all-powerful artistic director and patron saint of public relations of the airline wants to select an architect capable of attracting “the maximum media attention,” . In the Face of fierce competition, Rex Werner wishes to distinguish himself with a terminal’s effective and spectacular. Eero Saarinen has the reputation of being an architect combined with his customers. He will be the man of the situation with respect to the personality shadowy Howard Hughes. The first sketches of the terminal curved loom in 1956. Saarinen is strongly inspired by Le Corbusier, who comes to abandon the use of the straight line in his architectural work, with the chapel of Ronchamp.
The rooms are luxuriously furnished playing card retro with vintage furniture and floors in terrazzo. David Mitchell, A building classified as historical heritage
The project is virtuosic and complex, and is summarized in a few words by Saarinen to his wife Aline: “This is a grapefruit cut in four pieces.” The terminal is equipped with a superb hull in concrete. The interiors are multiplying to the infinite the games of curves and undulations, increasing the feeling of space while large windows overlook the slopes. TWA used without interruption for almost forty years. October 6, 2001, the flight 481 to St. Louis, Missouri, is the last to leave the terminal. The future of the building, classified as historical heritage since 1994, looks uncertain at the end of 2001. The direction of the airport intends to use it for commercial purposes. Philip Johnson, the emperor of modern architecture, conceived of the cause, worried by the various adaptations discussed. “The building represents a new era of architecture in the Twentieth century: the adjunction of a new wing for him to run the danger of making invisible.” It is thought, at the time, turn into conference center or restaurant, without success. In 2002, the film of Steven Spielberg’s Stop me if you can , shot partially in the terminal, hands on the front of the stage, the valuable architectural testimony.
A future swimming pool with views of the slopes, David Mitchell
In 2008, the airline Jet Blue has chosen to invest the places. The operator of low cost constructed a neighboring terminal without touching the work of Saarinen. The idea of creating a hotel profile in 2011, after various operations can be unfortunate in which the organization, in 2004, an exhibition of contemporary art, which ended with the ransacking of the building. André Balazs is chosen to lead the hotel project. He owns the legendary Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and the hotels of the group Standard.
His dream is abandoned as of 2014, the cost of the work exceeding the capacity of investment of the company. It is a hotel group more of a classic MCR Development, which seizes the folder by injecting nearly $ 265 million in the construction of a high-quality establishment of 500 rooms. MCR has in its portfolio a multitude of hotels, the future of TWA is intended to become the flagship of the group. The legendary hall and its salons have taken on new life last may 15.
The hotel TWA opens its doors in the middle of the day, while busy, still workers. Many of the hostesses and the former TWA have made the trip, some arrived with memories that they will spread spontaneously on the red sofas of the lounge main. The work of Saarinen has been beautifully restored: the panels display the shapes of futuristic scroll of hypothetical flights, tables and pedestal tables Tulip are not lacking in appeal, the gorgeous clock sitting above the very air gateway works like the first day.
The TWA Hotel, a myth of the 1960s, occupies a special place in american history. Emily Gilbert The TWA Hotel, a myth of the 1960s, occupies a special place in american history. The panels display the shapes of futuristic scroll of hypothetical flights… Inaugurated in 1962, Twa uses the terminal without interruption for nearly forty years. The tables and pedestal tables Tulip Eero Saarinen are not lacking in appeal. The interiors are multiplying to the infinite the games of curves and undulations, increasing the feeling of space. Everything has been preserved for immersion, the space museum to the red and white colors of the TWA sets out the uniforms of the era. Replicas of objects offered on board in the 60’s.
The airport terminal building is flanked by two glass buildings, where are located the rooms. The promoters have preserved the open spaces around the terminal history with lovely outlook to admire the building. The old tarmac has been replaced with a huge terrace on which is placed a authentic device, a Lockheed Constellation, which acts as the cocktail bar. A swimming pool with a spectacular view on the slopes will be inaugurated by the month of August. The rooms are luxuriously furnished playing card retro with vintage furniture and floors in terrazzo.
Paradoxically, the seven terminals of Kennedy to the 60 million annual passengers, did not have a hotel in their midst. Grapefruit dear Saarinen has thus regained a central place at the heart of the New York city airport. The first few days, the hotel was already full, just like the mythical restaurant in the terminal of TWA, Paris Cafe, revived by the French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Many were the curious to want to capture again of this myth of the 1960s who is so special in american history.
go There: Air France (36.54). The company offers up to six flights daily Paris – New York. From 290 € the round trip.
stay : TWA Hotel . From 242 € per night for two people. From 140 € the room for half a day.
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