New York Build Networking

23 Jan 2020

Stonehill Taylor designs retro Connie bar inside a plane at JFK's TWA Hotel

Bridget Cogley - Dezeen
US firm Stonehill Taylor has turned a restored 1950s plane into a cocktail bar for

The Connie cocktail lounge forms part of the transformation of Eero Saarinen's modernist terminal building into a lounge and hotel last year.

Connie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill Taylor

Stonehill Taylor – which designed the hotel guest rooms – outfitted a fully restored 1958 Lockheed Constellation Starliner plane to create the new addition.

The model was brought back to its original condition by MCR Morse Development and Atlantic Models in 2018, which involved replacing parts, repairing its missing nose, installing flooring and windows, and outfitting the cockpit with controls.

Connie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill Taylor

The cockpit and navigator's chair were also restored, while the plane's dilapidated exterior was repainted to reflect the 1950s branding.

Stonehill Taylor's design fuses original details with a slight change of seating to better suit a cocktail bar.

Bright red carpeting, curtains and upholstered built-ins were chosen to reflect the bygone era when it carried passengers across the country under American airline company Trans World Airlines (TWA).

Connie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill Taylor

Stonehill Taylor worked with New Jersey-based Samuelson Furniture to design and manufacture the red banquettes, in addition to restoring the plane's original seats.

The bar is located in the main cabin and features red-cushioned seats flanking the vessel and white, round tables that filling the aisle and gaps in between the seating rows.

In the rear of the plane is a bar for preparing and serving drinks, and a vintage travel mural similar to the one that was there when the craft operated.

An arched, white ceiling overhead embodies the plane's original fuselage but with updated lights and ventilation.

Connie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill Taylor

The plane-turned-bar interiors are reminiscent of the style of Saarinen's modernist terminal when it first opened in 1962. His swooped concrete terminal building was similarly decorated with red-and-white interiors.

The Finnish-American architect completed the building for Trans World Airlines – a major American airline that operated from 1930 until 2001 – giving it the name TWA. It closed in 2001 after it was unable to support the size of modern aircraft.

Connie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill Taylor

New York-based firms Lubrano Ciavarra Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle were enlisted to oversee the vast renovation and extension to the structure. INC Architecture & Design designed the event spaces inside, while Stonehill Taylor contributed to the hotel bedrooms.

Connie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill Taylor

Graphic agency Pentagram also created a new typeface for the hotel at Saarinen's terminal, called Flight Center Gothic, based on the branding that the Finnish-American architect designed for the project.

In addition to TWA Hotel and Connie bar, Stonehill Taylor has also created New Orleans' Eliza Jane hotel and the architectural designs for New York City's Moxy hotels in Chelsea and Midtown.

Read more: Dezeen

New York Build is the leading construction show for New York and the Tri-state area. Gain access to 12 specialized summits, 250+ exhibitors, 230+ speakers and connect with 20,000+ registered visitors.