Designing TWA – Eero Saarinen’s airport terminal as a media production factor in the corporate image of Trans World Airlines (working title)
If architecture and marketing are purposefully interlinked, a building can effectively represent the corporate identity to the outside. Form, material and symbolism of the structure thus have a direct reference to the corporate policy of a brand – an object is created whose signal effect is effective and permanent advertising for an enterprise.
With special reference to the Trans World Flight Center by Eero Saarinen, erected between 1956 and 1962 at the New York’s Idlewild Airport (today JFK), the present work examines the positioning of the structure in the marketing strategy and corporate design of Trans World Airlines (TWA). A subject area is thus spanned between architecture, communication and media theory. The first thematic block examines the architectural theory background of Saarinen’s departure lounge. The second main interest is focused on the function and effect of the terminal in the brand development and corporate image of TWA. The third thematic focus analyses the role of the media in the marketing of the terminal, the corporation and its architect.
As an ‘icon’ of corporate architecture the TWA terminal reflects, on the one hand, the current demand of the corporate world for the services of the architects (e.g. Vitra, Novartis or Swiss Re). On the other hand Eero Saarinen’s contribution to modern architecture still has to be evaluated in depth. The dissertation strives to make a significant contribution to the discourse within Saarinen’s work and current discussion on the interplay between architecture and marketing.
The lecture will be held by Ass.-Prof. Dr. Laurent Stalder (Institute gta, D-Arch), the accompanying paper by Prof. Dr Monika Dommann, assistant professor SNF (Historic Seminar, University of Basle).
Kornel Ringli, 04.06.2010
Period of validity since 2007