Architects: Slade Architecture
Location: Newark airport (EWR), 3 Brewster Road, Newark, NJ 07114, USA
Principals: Hayes Slade, James Slade
Design Team: Tian Gao, Kristina Kesler, Magda Stoenescu, David Iseri, Rasmus Kristensen, Ana Lopis, Allesandro Perinelli, Garrett Pruter
Client: Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.
Collaborators: Virgin Atlantic In-House Design
Mep Engineers: ADS Engineers Ambrosino, Depinto & Schmieder
Structural Engineers: Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP
Quantity Surveyor: PT Projects – Peter Turvey
Lighting Design: Focus Lighting
Kitchen Consultant: Next Step Design
Contractor: Shawmut Design and Construction
Millwork: Allegheny Millwork
Area: 500.0 sqm
Photographs: Anton Stark, Courtesy of Slade Architecture
From the architect. Virgin Atlantic has opened a brand-new Clubhouse at Newark Liberty Airport. Designed by New York-based Slade Architecture (www.sladearch.com) in collaboration with the Virgin Atlantic in-house design team (the same collaboration that designed the award winning JFK Clubhouse which opened in March 2012), the Newark Clubhouse brings together NYC’s downtown flair and Virgin Atlantic’s warmth and individuality. The lounge lives and breathes lower Manhattan – think Soho boutiques, TriBeCa lofts and Meatpacking District chic.
Once guests have cleared security, they can check into the airside Clubhouse. A constellation of sparkling pinpoint lights draws you into the sculpted entry passage. Punctuated by a sky lit receptionist at a specular desk, the entry sequence creates an extended decompression zone between the busy terminal and the relaxed luxury inside the clubhouse; a dramatic immersion into the Virgin Atlantic experience.
The Clubhouse is organized around a faceted bar that rises in the center of the lounge, culminating in a crystalline bottle display under the central skylight. The geometry of this object ripples across the ceiling, creating an abstract geometric canopy that spills up into the two skylights.
A series of distinct, downtown inspired spaces pin wheel around the bar. Each space references an iconic downtown typology- café, theater, art gallery, restaurant, club, bar, lounge. Grab a coffee and read a book or magazine in the wood lined café. Venture into the curtain wrapped screening room to catch the latest art house video. Curl up in an upholstered pod, carved into protective faceted concrete of the passion pit. Pull up to the bar at the liquid lounge. Sit down for a delicious meal in the gallery-like brasserie. Catch up on your email or listen to music in the colorful origami lounge.
Art is central to the downtown vibe. Digital finger paintings of lower Manhattan, commissioned from New York artist Jorge Colombo, animate the café. The brasserie features three mixed media works by New York artist Garrett Pruter, inspired by discarded travel photographs found in various downtown junk shops. Works by Kate Hazell, Galia Rybitskaya, Mille Marotta and Jonny Moss are displayed throughout the space.
Custom elements abound, adding moments of discovery and humor. Pillows examine the urban landscape at different scales. Graffiti inspired wallpaper in the bathroom/shower area is illuminated by glowing resin sinks. The more time you spend exploring the lounge, the more it unfolds and reveals itself.