There’s nothing even remotely glamorous about sleeping in an airport hotel.

But in roughly 18 months, the opening of the TWA Hotel—a 505-room remastering of the spaceship-like Eero Saarinen terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport—should change that.

New renderings and design plans by MCR Development LLC, the developer and lead investor in the project, reveal exciting new aspects about the project. They include a restaurant inside a refurbished TWA jet—which dates to 1962, like the terminal itself—and, as a representative told Bloomberg, a rooftop pool for weary travelers.

The firm, which also designed the High Line Hotel, another adaptive reuse project, in Manhattan’s Chelsea, says a primary goal is to restore the building to “its Jet Age condition,” after the building lay dormant for the past 16 years. The new plans prove it’s doing far more than that.

For architecture buffs, the real draw will be the lobby and its signature sunken lounge, originally designed by Saarinen. The lipstick-red airport seats, built into white, penny-tiled booths will stay, but the once-ubiquitous ashtrays will go, joked Tyler Morse, chief executive of MCR, during a presentation to journalists and stakeholders.

Also being restored: the terminal’s egg-shaped “split-flap” flight boards, which once click-clacked every few minutes with updated arrivals and departures. Except now they’re controlled by an app, with a new board mechanism that can display any type of relevant messaging, such as a customized welcome note for travelers checking in.

Ultimately, the lobby will fill the center of the Jetsons-style pavilion, which can be accessed through the two original tubes connecting it to JFK’s Terminal 5. Around its perimeter will be eight bars and six restaurants—a staggering, if not unprecedented, number of public spaces for an airport hotel.

The most exciting outlets will have strong nods to TWA’s history. 

Three will be revivals of once-iconic spaces: the Lisbon Lounge, which in the ’60s was all leather-tufted chairs and men in sharp suits; the Paris Café; and the Ambassador’s Club, with its signature orange banquettes and original Noguchi fountain. Designs by mid-century greats Charles Eames, Raymond Loewy, and Warren Platner are being brought back to life as well.

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