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TWA Hotel’s new ’60s-inspired event spaces come into focus

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Ever wanted to get married in an iconic midcentury landmark? Now you can!

Courtesy of MCR

One of New York City’s most anticipated new hotel openings of the next few months—perhaps even the decade—is the transformation of Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK Airport into a 512-room luxury hotel. Construction got underway in 2016 and has progressed swiftly since then, with an anticipated opening date of spring 2019.

In the lead-up to that, developer MCR has been releasing new details for the hotel in a slow but steady dribble, with the design of its retro rooms unveiled in the spring. Now, they’ve done the same with the 50,000 square feet of event space—including two ballrooms and private skyboxes—that’s among the hotel’s new amenities.

As of this week, the event space, which can accommodate corporate events as well as weddings (weddings!), is now taking reservations.

The biggest offering here is the 15,000-square-foot Starstream Ballroom—named for TWA’s first jet service, which launched in the 1950s—which also has six skyboxes overlooking it. A smaller Flight Center ballroom could host more intimate events, and a pre-reception area connects the whole thing.

Like the hotel rooms themselves, the design here is clearly midcentury-inspired: Renderings show plenty of dark wood and iconic furniture pieces provided by Knoll (including Saarinen’s tulip chairs and tables). There are also light fixtures that evoke Marcel Breuer’s design at the former Whitney building, and red carpet that’s a nod to the arrival tube that connects the terminal to the airport.

The event space is just one component of the larger hotel project: The terminal’s swooping, birdlike headhouse, designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen, will be the entry point for a 500-room hotel, with a whole host of amenities—bars, restaurants, even an observation deck—as part of the package.