Michael McDonough | Architect

Lufthansa Passenger Lounges and Cafés

Terminal One, JFK International Airport, Jamaica, New York 1997-1999

business class lounge
Business Class Lounge
Photo: Nic Lehoux

Lufthansa Airlines required a design ethos harkening back to the romance and excitement of early air travel. In the Passenger Lounges and Cafés for Terminal One at JFK, overscaled, twisted and arcing architectural elements, allude to the hyperscaled, curvilinear geometry of aircraft — wings, wing-flaps, fuselage, and tail. Corrugated wall panels recall the corrugated “Duralumin” construction of 1920’s Junkers airplanes . Full height hand-cast glass murals offer interpretations of 17th- and 18th-century navigation maps of the New York Metropolitan area.

The lounges look to the runway, so that the drama of seeing planes taking-off and landing is part of the passenger’s experience. Night lighting is minimal, setting a mood of relaxation. The mood is intentionally Surreal, akin to a Marc Chagall painting.

Sustainable technologies include indoor plantings; daylighting achieved through high, sloped ceilings and glazed partitions; designed-for-disassembly wood partitions; energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems in conjunction with supplemental passive solar heating of the main spaces.

Photos (click to enlarge)

Glass Mural Partition
Glass Mural Partition
Photo: Nic Lehoux
Business Class Cafe
Business Class Café
Photo: Andre Baranowski
First Class Late Night Cafe
First Class Late Night Café
Photo: Andre Baranowski
Reception Area and Passage
Reception Area and Passage
Photo: Nic Lehoux
First Class Lounge
First Class Lounge
Photo: Nic Lehoux