Designing TWA

Designing TWA

Eero Saarinen’s Airport Terminal in New York

Available again: the definitive book on this architectural icon of the jet age.


  • Out of Print


Title Information

Kornel Ringli

1st edition reprinted

, 2018


224 pages, 71 color and 169 b/w illustrations

21.5 x 28 cm

ISBN 978-3-906027-75-3


When it opened in 1962, the TWA Flight Center at New York’s JFK airport was a sensation. Created by Eero Saarinen with a distinctly birdlike design, it was instantly seen as a striking emblem of the romance of air travel. More than half a century later, it remains a beloved icon of modern architecture.

Designing TWA is the first book to tell the whole story of Saarinen’s building, from its early planning through its closing in 2001 after the takeover of TWA by American Airlines. Documenting the terminal’s commission, planning, building, and use, architect Kornel Ringli reveals the constant tension between the operational needs of the airline and Saarinen’s visionary imaginings—revealing the TWA building as an incredible architectural achievement that nonetheless failed to meet the day-to-day demands of the business it housed. Lavishly illustrated with archival photographs, Designing TWA is an unprecedented look behind the scenes at the making of a modern masterpiece.


Named one of the Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2015.


Designed by Elektrosmog, Zurich.


Deutsche Ausgabe

Authors & Editors

Kornel Ringli

, born 1972, studied architecture and did his PhD at ETH Zurich. He works with a Zürich-based non-profit organization for real estate management and as a freelance architectural publicist.


“Zürich’s Park Books proves once again to be the destination press for lovers of architecture. Kornel Ringli’s exhaustive, fascinating book goes back to the basics of passenger and baggage movements that Saarinen studied, as well the glamorous opening gala to tell of the tension between architect’s imagination and the practical demands of the airline business.” Robert Bound, Monocle