In 1957, SOM designed the former International Arrivals Building for New York’s Idlewild Airport (not the John F. Kennedy International Airport). By the mid 1990s, the facility had become cramped and outdated. SOM led a revitalization effort to create a spacious new building that could meet the needs of modern air travel.
The resulting terminal – a three- level facility able to serve seven million passengers yearly – reasserted JFK’s status as the preeminent gateway to North America. Considered at the time of its completion to be a model terminal for the 21st century, the building embraces efficiency and functionality as exciting elements of the travel experience.
The steel-and-glass-span building recalls the tradition of great civi transportation hubs. A sweeping roof with linear skylights admits daylight, saving a considerable amount of energy. The addition of two-level roadways (one for pick-ups, one for drop offs) facilitates a smooth flow of traffic outside the building. Inside, a clear layout and improved signage enable passengers to easily navigate the vast terminal.
Location: New York, NY, United States
Architects in Charge: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Design Partner Emeritus: David Childs
Managing Partner: Anthony Vacchione
Planner: Derek Moore
Area: 1500.0 m2
Project Year: 2001
Photographs: Douglas Spranger
Client: JFK IAT Project Team JFK International Airport
Construction Manager: Morse/Diesel (now AMEC)
Baggage Handling: Chermayeff & Geismer Associates
Landscape / Irrigation: Judith Heintz Landscape Architecture
Cost Estimating: Hanscomb Associates
Acoustics: Ove Arup & Partners
Lighting: SBLD Studio
Art Consultant: Wendy Feuer Public Arts & Design Consultant