KRVIA Encounters

Kiran Merchant

The presentation outlines the journey of an Iconic Airport Passenger Terminal spanning over 7 decades and beyond. 


In 1961 TWA opened the doors of its brand-new iconic terminal at JFK, designed by the world-renowned Architect Erro Sarrienen.  In its first 50 years of existence this terminal saw the heydays of the Jet Aviation industry, as well as the troubled times.  This iconic structure, an example of modern architecture introduced some of the groundbreaking ideas of celebrating the luxury of flight, and the superior passenger experience, that architects try to follow even today in latest terminal designs.  Unfortunately, due to rapid changes in the commercial aviation industry this terminal fell short in keeping up with the needs of its end users and fell in disrepair for 3 decades, finally shutting down it’s doors in 1999.  After almost 15 years of closure the TWA terminal was re-opened once again to wow the world travelers arriving at JFK Airport, in its new adaptive use.  Kiran Merchant started his aviation career in this building as a summer intern and grew to be the head of design for TWA and played an important part in saving this historic marvel from being further destroyed.  Later Kiran led the Adaptive Reuse study, which resulted in it’s new life in the 21st century.