Airport Business

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

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DESIGN CONCEPTS 18 airportbusiness December 2017/January 2018 By Scott Harrell Crafting a New Design Culture for American Airlines' Premium Passenger Lounges American Airlines put emphasis on creating a new experience in the renovation of its lounge in JFK's Terminal 8. Recently, Mancini Duff y worked with American Airlines (AA) to bring first-class hos- pitality to its Flagship Lounge and Admirals Club at JFK's Terminal 8, as part of the airline's $200 million investment in a system-wide rebranding campaign. The airline's priorities were twofold: to be able to continue to operate the facilities during construction with minimal disruption to guests and employees and to use the clubs as a high-visi- bility vehicle to implement the re-envisioned brand. We achieved the first goal by carefully plan- ning and sequencing the construction process. By breaking the project into discrete, function-spe- cific "modules" and coordinating demolition and construction phases, we ensured the continuous operation of every feature of the club. The crew from Holt Construction Corp. was able to man- age these phases efficiently, maintain very tight turnover schedules and keep the entire project on track and moving forward. Throughout the entire renovation, visitors to the lounge were never with - out any of American's services. Key to meeting the second challenge was remaining flexible throughout the development of the overall project. Since AA was in the middle of reimagining its brand identity, designers had to make sure the client's vision was incorporated into the plan as it evolved. This required intense and frequent communication, coordination and col- laboration between Mancini Duffy, Holt, and the client. As American's brand aesthetic gradually came into focus, the team and the contractor often had to make quick adjustments to make sure the new image was conveyed by the design. FROM OLD TO NEW At JFK, American Airlines' existing facility had been divided into two components, an Admirals Club and a Flagship Lounge, and provided food service options, a small business center and shared shower space. The interior and its fur- nishings no longer aligned with AA's new identity, and more room was needed to accommodate the growing passenger demand for expanded services. The new design increased the area of the club. It captured a 5,500-square-foot storage room, using it to bolster the capacity of the Flagship Lounge. A more unusual opportunity for expansion arose with a 35-foot by 100-foot walkway that spanned the main concourse, floating over the route passen- gers follow to reach the departure gates. Known as the "bridge," planners recognized this previously unused area posed great design potential and allowed to create a memorable experience. The revamped and reorganized space offers a spectrum of experiences and services to pas- sengers. When guests arrive at the reception area, they're greeted by attendants stationed at white freestanding kiosks — reminiscent of a boutique hotel check-in. Qualified Flagship members are directed down a long corridor with an integrated illuminated mural of New York City. Upon entering the open-plan lounge, visitors can assess at a glance the variety of the seating configurations and amenities, and directly access the area and the ambi- ance that will serve their needs. Read more: 12369111 F or many, airline clubs and lounges sat- isfy both a practical need—a comfort- able, modern, well-equipped place to pass the time between flights—as well as a more psychologically-oriented requirement — a place where ameni- ties and aesthetics combine to provide a calming retreat from the airport's stressful scene. ScoƩ joined Mancini Duffy in 2004, becoming principal in 2013. With more than 20 years of project management experƟse in all areas of interior architectural design, he places parƟcular value on nurturing long-term client relaƟonships. His current work in the aviaƟon sector includes mulƟple projects with Amer- ican Airlines, as well as interior projects for several major airlines, through LaGuardia Gateway Partners. ScoƩ Harrell, LEED AP ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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