10. A Complex Engineering Technique Prevents the New Conference Center from Floating

The conference center is below the plane!

This is something you can’t see with the naked eye, but there’s a lot of complex engineering going on behind the scenes because John F. Kennedy Airport is literally built on marshland. The water table is just eight feet underground, but the conference center, which is below the Connie plane, goes 40 feet underground. Like the World Trade Center, a very large “bathtub” had to be constructed, and an engineering technique prevents the conference center from literally floating up. “It’s built on a very thick mat of concrete with steel piles that go down 50 feet. The piles hold it down from floating, which is the opposite of most buildings. Most buildings will sink into the ground because of the weight. Here, we’re buoyant [so] the friction piles prevent it from floating.”

Here are a few more photos of the hotel:

Want to see what the hotel rooms look like? Check out our coverage here, from our overnight stay.

Next, discover 7 of JFK Airport’s Lost Jet Age Terminals and check out how the TWA Flight Center looked before it was transformed into a hotel