Designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen, the Trans World Airways (TWA) Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport is one of the great representations of mid-century modern architecture. The wing-like external facade of the main terminal provides a visual connection to that of flight itself. Its creation straddles the end of prop travel and that of the Jet-Age, a period when air travel moved beyond a mode of transport reserved for the wealthy. Upon its opening in 1962, the TWA terminal embodied travelers with a sense of elegance and adventure.
Ironically, it was the very democratization of jet travel that ultimately led to the need to reexamine the viability of the TWA terminal’s use in the 21st Century. With the demise of Trans World Airways in 2001, the terminal’s fate was uncertain with JetBlue’s need for an expanded facility. The stabilization and restoration efforts by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has enabled future generations the opportunity to glimpse into an earlier age of travel. A 14 October 2014 open house of Saarinen’s TWA Head House demonstrated the building’s place in the mindset of the public as visitors flocked to see its curvilinear interior.
The ChronoPoints team completed the planned scanning of the TWA Head House in June 2015! We would like to thank Langan Engineering for their support in providing a scanning team on the project and FARO Technologies. We also send a sincere thank you to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey for enabling us to conduct the scan.
We will be working on creating an educational experience addressing the dawn of the Jet-Age through this architectural treasure.