Beyer Blinder Belle Restores 1962 TWA Flight Center
Making a pilgrimage to the TWA Flight Center was one of the first things Beyer Blinder Belle, Architects and Planners partner Richard Southwick did when he came to New York in 1978 for his master’s in architecture at Columbia University. So it has been gratifying for the firm’s director of historic preservation to head the team that has been working on the landmark for the last 23 years. The Port Authority hired BBB to oversee the stabilization and preservation of the 167,000-square-foot central building, or “headhouse,” as Southwick calls it, which has encompassed removing baggage carousels, replacing the front curtain wall, repairing the roof’s concrete shell, and restoring the iconic sunken lounge. “There’s not a straight line in the building,” he adds. The process involved fixing and laying ceramic tiles (requiring the purchase of some 3 million new ones) on the sweeping curves and ordering carpeting in Saarinen’s custom chili pepper red. Now working with the hotel developers, BBB has been replacing the remaining glazing and bringing the building up to code. Going forward, the firm will ensure that the restaurants and retail planned to occupy what will be one of the world’s largest hotel lobbies are sympathetic to the architecture’s original flights of fancy. View the slideshow for more images.
Project Team: Joe Gall; Charles Kramer; George Beckwith; Lars Moestue: Beyer Blinder Belle, Architects and Planners. Pentagram: Custom Graphics. Robert Silman Associates Structural Engineers: Structural Engineer. Gordon H. Smith Corporation: Curtain-Wall, Skylight Consultant. SBLD Studio: Lighting Consultant. Island Diversified: Acoustical Contractor. Loring Consulting Engineers: MEP. Vitro: Glass Supplier. David Shuldiner: Curtain-Wall, Skylight Contractor. Beys Specialty: General Contractor. Design and Direct Source: Custom Tile. New York Custom Interior Millwork Corp.: Custom Seating. Bentley Mills: Carpet. Pyrok: Acoustical Ceiling Coating. Griffith Rubber Mills: Curtain-Wall Gaskets.