Love it or hate it, New York‘s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) could use a few modern upgrades here and there. Boasting the architectural aesthetic of the “Jet Age” that reigned supreme in the 1960′s and 70′s, JFK is now trading in one of their flying saucer terminals for a new generation of modern spaces that reflect a future of innovation. But if you think that Eero Saarinen‘s iconic TWA Flight Center is on its way out, don’t worry, the structure that’s become synonymous with 60′s optimism is here to stay. Instead, the former Pan Am Worldport and Terminal 4 will soon be completely revamped by world famous architecture firm SOM. SOM’s cutting edge design will add nearly half a million square feet of high-flying space, and 9 shiny new international gates to the Delta network. But if you’re dying to see what future holds for air travel in 2013 now, no need to seek out a crystal ball, just hit the video above for an animated fly-through tour of SOM’s incredible new design!
The $1.2 billion construction of Terminal 4 features a modern design geared at speeding up the traveller experience, adding more capacity for check-in and consolidating the security checkpoint area. The terminal’s new state-of-the-art facilities will also include enhanced baggage handling operations and bigger areas for post-security shopping and dining. The new design will also see the addition of nine new gates for Delta, for a total of 25, 16 of which will be used by Delta for its international flights.
One of the criticisms of the project has been the necessary demolition of Terminal 3, also known as the former Pan Am Worldport, to accomodate space for Terminal 4. Terminal 3 is famous for its flying-saucer like design, and for the rock ‘n roll savvy as the receiving terminal of the Beatles when they first arrived in America in 1964. But as historic as it may be, the terminal found itself outdated from the offset.
John Morris Dixon, the former editor of Progressive Architecture told the Architect’s Newspaper he remembers Pan Am’s Terminal 3 fondly, “You had this great statement, this canopy, with the planes nuzzling in beneath it,” he said. “But it was outdated almost immediately” due to the introduction of larger planes. To date the terminal has consistently been rated as JFK’s worst, and the Port Authority and Delta insist that the building is beyond repair. The dated and dilapidated design has proved to only be a costly hinderance to the efficiency of their operations, even as Delta has made ongoing investments into its repair over the last 40 years.
Terminal 3 will however not be demolished until 2013, when the expansion of Terminal 4 is about to be completed – so you still have time to revel in a bit of 60s nostalgia if you please!
A huge and much needed change for one of the world’s biggest and most congested airports, the project is something we’re happy to see come to fruition. But we have to say the best news to be had is that the project is expected to add 10,000 more jobs and pour $1.6 billion dollars in to the local economy by 2014.