The $850 million, 26-gate terminal will enclose the architecturally celebrated Trans World Airlines terminal designed by Eero Saarinen in 1956, it was announced Monday.
The historic terminal in the shape of a soaring bird sculpted in concrete. It has stood empty and in danger of being razed since 2001. A spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the authority's board has approved an agreement with JetBlue that will save the TWA building by connecting it with a new Y-shaped building, Terminal 5, due to open in 2008.
The Saarinen building will be embraced by the arms of the Y-shaped metal-and-glass structure which will have a low profile "to create a respectful background" for the landmark building completed in 1962, according to a spokesman for Gensler. It will be connected to the TWA building by two tubular passageways.
The Finnish-born Saarinen, who died in 1961, was considered one of the greatest American architects of the 20th century, but designed only one skyscraper, the CBS "Black Rock" headquarters building in Manhattan.