Designer planes with gyms and bars onboard

Home > Culture > Arts & Design

print dictionary print

Designer planes with gyms and bars onboard


The Trans World Airlines Terminal (1956-1962) once located at today’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Look up and there’s a whole new world above you.

Ever since the first airplanes took off in the early 1900s, airlines have pursued flying faster, higher and farther as a means of mass transportation.

But you cannot leave out other contributions that helped develop the industry, such as airport architecture, cabin interiors, airline corporate designs, flight attendant uniforms and on-board dinner plates.

The changes in the industry over time in terms of design and architecture will be on display starting tomorrow at the Daelim Contemporary Art Museum in Jongno, central Seoul.

“Airworld: Design and Architecture for Air Travel” is one of the traveling exhibitions of the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.

The exhibition goes beyond plain planes. Inside the museum you can see models and miniatures of interesting aircraft such as the 1929 Dornier Do-X airboat, which accommodated 70 passengers and had a restaurant, bar and gym.

When German artist Emil Rau (1858-1937) designed the interior, he thought the airboat should provide the kind of comfort and safety that passengers enjoy at home.

Meanwhile, the Ford Company produced 199 airplanes from 1926 to 1933, one of them being the Ford Tri-Motor. A miniature of this aircraft is displayed on the second floor of the museum.


A virtual model of the tiger lounge on a Boeing 747 (1970). Provided by the organizer

Since more airplanes mean more airports, miniatures of earlier airports are also displayed.

You can get a glimpse of the Trans World Airlines Terminal located from 1956 to 1962 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The terminal was designed by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen (1910-1961).

“The Airworld display relates to many subjects - mechanical engineering, design and architecture,” said Ji Sang-hyun, the Daelim Museum’s curator.

Andy Warhol once said airplanes and airports have his favorite kind of food service, entertainment, graphics and colors, the best security checks, views, employees and optimism.


A 1968 flight attendant uniform designed by Jean Louis. Provided by the organizer

Other exhibition displays are designed by artists including Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Nina Ricci, Raymond Loewy and Luigi Colani.

The exhibition runs until Nov. 9. For information, call (02) 720-0667 or visit

By Lee Eun-joo Staff Reporter []
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)