JetBlue Airways T5 at JFK / Rockwell Group with Gensler

© Nic Lehoux

Rockwell Group worked with JetBlue to re-think the airline’s brand concept and to re-imagine the T5 marketplace – a triangular retail and dining area where all three concourses will meet. JetBlue believed that the marketplace was the one area in its new terminal where it could fully exhibit its “JetBlue-ness.” In response, Rockwell Group expanded JetBlue’s brand concept by equating “JetBlue-ness” with “-ness” and created a marketplace interior concept that is bold, celebratory and affirmatively .

Architect: Rockwell Group with Gensler
Location: John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City, New York, USA
Planner and Design Manager: Arup
Airside/Landside Civil Engineers: DMJM Harris
Construction Management: Turner Construction
Engineers: Amman & Whitney
Collaborator: Port Authority of New York and New York
Project Area: 55,000 sqf
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Nic Lehoux

© Nic Lehoux

Terminal 5 (“T5”), JetBlue’s new terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK”), is located behind the historic and iconic TWA terminal designed by Eero Saarinen. JetBlue passengers will have the option to walk through the landmark modernist building and use an express check-in there to enter T5.

The 635,000 sqf, 26-gate T5 is the largest infrastructure investment undertaken by JetBlue since the airline launched in 2000. It is the first terminal specifically planned and designed for the airline. The terminal is expected to double JetBlue’s capacity at JFK by 2009. It is designed to handle 250 flights per day and up to 20 million passengers per year. The marketplace area in T5 will feature 26 restaurants, including full- and quick-service restaurants, cafes and bars, and 25 retail stores.

Part of the design includes one 4’ tall custom designed grandstand and one 2’ tall platform made from structural steel with a rubber finish. The grandstand is located facing towards the departing passengers and the platform is positioned towards the arriving passengers coming from the east concourse. Inspired by the stoops of New York brownstones, the bleachers of Yankee stadium, and the steps of the Met, the grandstand serves as a gateway icon and provides a comfortable place for passengers to eat, relax or simply view the theater of the marketplace. The upper level of the grandstand is a wide platform that may serve as an exhibition space or lounge.

The cable system in the new terminal recalls the iconic forms of the roofscape of Eero Saarinen’s landmark TWA terminal. The stainless steel cables supports the information yoke, an egg-shaped aluminum structure with 43 40” plasma screens positioned around the yoke. Located at the center of the marketplace, the cable system and information yoke is visible from all three concourses, creating a dynamic focal point. The information yoke may have site-specific digital art installations.

© Nic Lehoux

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Cite: "JetBlue Airways T5 at JFK / Rockwell Group with Gensler" 22 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • brb001

    That design may exhibit “JetBlue-ness” but it doesn’t seem to embody any more “New York-ness” than any other airport terminal.

    “New York-ness” seems to be a poor choice of description. But it is a nice, clear and easily navigeable space.

  • Paul Morel

    Looks cheap.

    I wish there were more to say, but unfortunately this counts as newsworthy airport design in this country in this day and age.

    • Ginamarie

      Look again…!…

  • Chiaro Scuro

    Flew out of here last year….
    Main entrance space which is featured in the photographs is so so,

    Actual gate areas with wide concourses has an excellent quality of light. Much better than the entrance space.

    Not bad for the typology. Functions well….