TWA Hotel at JFK

TWA Hotel at JFK

New York, NY – Nearly 20 years after it closed its doors, Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA terminal
has been reborn as a retro hotel at JFK Airport. The architectural firm, Beyer Blinder Belle, faced
many challenges restoring this modernist landmark.

The challenges you have in a more cookie-cutter building are totally different than the
challenges we had in a kind of architectural masterpiece like this

Joe Gaulle, Beyer Blinder Belle Senior Architect

One of the biggest challenges was that the design called for massive 2-story tall doors with
rivets to simulate old hangar doors that slide open. These visually impressive doors were
required to close automatically while providing the necessary fire protection.

“We were required to have a 2-hour separation between the main ballroom and the pre-
function space. We tried to do a hangar door that could close on its own and was tested to have
the required fire rating,” said Gaulle. “We worked very hard on that and came fairly close to it.
But in the end, what we found was a much better solution that gave us much more freedom to
design it the way we wanted.”

The solution was a FireGuard accordion fire door system from Won-Door. The FireGuard doors
work behind the scenes, providing all of the necessary fire and safety capabilities while hiding in
a pocket right next to the sliding hangar doors. The Fireguard doors close automatically during a
fire emergency, providing the required 2-hour rating. With the addition of the Won-Doors to
the architectural plan, the hangar doors became nothing more than decorative, architectural
features and have no real safety component.

Another advantage of the FireGuard accordion fire door system is that it can be designed to
follow a curved path, making it easier to seal off entrances to elevators and stairways, which is
required to meet fire codes. And, again, because they are hidden in pockets, FireGuard
accordion doors do not impact the open, airy design of the architect’s vision and are only seen
in the event of an emergency.

The addition of Won-Door FireGuard™ accordion door systems to the monumental TWA terminal
restoration is just one example of how Won-Door products are empowering architects across
the globe to remove design obstacles and achieve their visions while meeting demanding fire
safety codes.


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