Offbeat New York

Rendering courtesy of Gensler

JetBlue Terminal 5

Anyone growing up in NYC knew TWA, and the Eero Saarinen terminal built in 1962. The soaring wings made travelers feel they were about to take to the sky and soar. In a city the regularly, even eagerly tears down old buildings for the sake of change, the TWA terminal held on. It is a tribute to the brilliance of architect Saarinen that the building never felt dated and that even today its clean lines and open views feel contemporary.

Today, there is a new Terminal 5 coming, built for JetBlue. When it opens in early October, 2008, it will have 26 gates, 3 concourses, 3 levels including 55,000sf central retail and concession Marketplace and 800ft enclosed skywalk connector to AirTrain and parking garage.

Terminal 5, JetBlue Airways Corporation's new home at JFK, is one of the first terminals in the U.S. to be designed and built from the ground up since 2001.

According to their press release:

It presents a new paradigm in airport design that focuses on efficiency, customer comfort and shifts the focus for customers to the air-side experience. Located behind the historic and iconic Eero Saarinen-designed TWA terminal, T5 is respectful and low profile while reinterpreting the iconic terminal's futuristic vision of air travel with customer-friendly features that reflect the JetBlue brand. Handling over 30% of JFK's passenger traffic, the new terminal is designed to accommodate 20 million passengers a year with up to 250 daily flights -- the equivalent to the passenger volume per year at LaGuardia Airport.

Rendering courtesy of Gensler The Terminal 5 site is nearly three times the size of JetBlue's current operation at Terminal 6 (72 acres vs. 28 acres) and offer passengers access to the terminal via the pedestrian skywalk from the Air Train and parking garage; or via vehicle road access to the front of the terminal.

The terminal's architectural design includes areas of exposed structural steel and the selection of industrial elements such as durable matte grey corrugated metal and glass for the exterior skin and compressed laminate, stainless steel, and terrazzo flooring in the interiors for a minimalist aesthetic. T5's low profile and angular shape were designed to complement rather than compete with Saarinen's curvilinear design. Gensler's design includes a "tip up" that echoes the Saarinen silhouette.

A strategic use of natural light includes T5's glazed landslide façade, abundant glazing and light monitors in the concourses, clearstories in the ticket hall and marketplace and an open light shaft connecting the first departures level with the baggage area below.

In keeping with the JetBlue brand, design details are employed where they truly matter. For example, usually an afterthought, the baggage claim area's design features includes Panelite along the length of the back wall, bright orange tops to the baggage carrousels, a light well, and floating ceiling panels to create a lively, open and comfortable space. The terminal also has a 20-lane central checkpoint located at terminal entrance –340-foot-wide area is largest single check-point in the U.S. (operations will launch with 15 lanes), soft rubber flooring for passenger comfort, and a 225 foot long revesting bench for organizing belongings after security. There are dedicated family & crew lanes to speed screening process.

T5 features dramatic views of the Saarinen terminal from the Sky Walk and ticketing hall. Two flight tubes connect T5 with the landmarked Saarinen terminal. Upon opening, the Saarinen terminal will provide a third T5 entry point with ticketing kiosks and access to the new T5 via flight tubes. One flight tube is a restored part of the landmark structure, the other was renovated by Gensler. The Port Authority is currently reviewing proposals for adaptive reuse of the Saarinen terminal


The new terminal will feature nine full-serve restaurants, bars and cafes; a gourmet food hall featuring eight quick-serve eateries; gourmet markets/grab-and-go; three coffee bars; six bars/lounges; and an innovative gate area program, dubbed “re:vive,” that offers table service dining. Through the program, passengers in the gate area will have the opportunity to “revive” by accessing touch-screen monitors to order meals that will be delivered directly to their tables.

OTG, who will own and operate each of the T5 dining establishments, assembled a group of New York City’s top chefs – including Mark Ladner, Lee Hanson, Riad Nasr, Alexandra Raij, Roberto Santibanez and Michael Schulson -- to create restaurant concepts that are exclusive to the new terminal.

A gourmet food hall enables travelers to mix and match menu items from eight quick-serve eateries. And, the first authentically gourmet airport market will offer more than 1,000 products and beverages, including organic, vegan, Kosher, all-natural, no-sugar, gluten-free, heart healthy and other distinctive products.

The new T5 intends to take airport dining to new heights. The full serve restaurants/bars/cafes include:

o 5ive Steak: With an energetic bar scene and sidewalk seating, 5ive Steak takes a relaxed approach to the classic American Steakhouse. Designed by ICRAVE, 5ive Steak reinterprets the traditional steakhouse menu for a modern palate.

o Aeronuova: In this enticing trattoria designed by ICRAVE, modernism meets retro glamour. The restaurant, featuring traditional Italian cuisine with a modern translation, exudes a distinctive atmosphere of chic Italy, complete with classic Italian films displayed on flat screen televisions. Developed by Chef Mark Ladner, the menu highlights rustic Italian flavors and features locally grown products.

o Deep Blue: Offering the highest quality sushi and Asian specialties from Michael Schulson, this dramatic restaurant, designed by ICRAVE, will have an ethereal feel of being in a water environment, complemented by a modern, clean aesthetic.

o Horizon Bakery Café: This French-inspired bakery features local produce and artisan breads, with an emphasis on organics and natural products. The bakery, designed by Fitch, offers European-style breakfast and the bistro menu feature salads, soups, sandwiches and delicious desserts.

o La Vie: Designed by ICRAVE, this petit brasserie exudes the old world charm of a Parisian cafe. The menu, created by Chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson, features the flavors and textures of simple French country cooking.

o Loft Kitchen & Bar: At Loft, comfort food meets global fusion creating a distinctive experience that is both culturally inspired and comfortably American. This open-kitchen restaurant and bar, designed by ICRAVE, recreates the spacious feel of a Soho loft and is uniquely accessorized with oversized art and communal tables for a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

o New York Sports Grill (NYSG): This updated sports bar and grill, designed by Fitch, offers delicious pub-inspired meals and 48 beers on tap in a contemporary, comfortable environment.

o Piquillo: Piquillo, designed by ICRAVE, brings the flavors of Spain to Terminal 5 with the first-ever tapas restaurant in a US airport. Chef Alexandra Raij has created an authentic tapas menu that is perfect for sharing.

o Revolución: Revolución, designed by Fitch, is a celebration of the authentic flavors of Mexico. Chef Roberto Santibañez has created a menu with a fresh, sophisticated approach to preparing traditional dishes.

Adapted from information provided by JetBlue. Renderings Courtesy of Gensler

Read about the original TWA Terminal 5 by Eero Saarinen at TWA's Saarinen Terminal 5

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