In 2015, when New York unveiled plans for its $8 billion revamp of LaGuardia Airport, architecture critic Carter B. Horsley called the design “lackluster and uninsipired” compared to those of other new airports. He went on to complain that “the new plans for LaGuardia sadly have no new urban mascot, logo or icon to offer and amuse, not even a Jeff Koons ‘Puppy.'”
Well, the lack of a Koons, at least, has been remedied in renderings circulated today by Governor Cuomo’s office. Sitting right there in the middle of the forthcoming central hall is none other than a bright red Jeff Koons balloon dog.
Could this be the design firm’s cheeky comeback to Horsley? Or is a Koons actually going into the new LaGuardia? To find out, we reached out to various architects involved in the new LGA’s master planning phase. Kirsten Sibilia, a principal at Dattner Architects, said that her firm wasn’t responsible for the new renderings, but offered a theory: “My guess is it’s a placeholder for ‘good, public art’.”
This makes sense. Who needs another Koons when we can see one anytime we want, at 51 Astor? Can’t we get something cooler, like the Mr. Rogers trolley at the Pittsburgh airport?
When the new airport is completed by 2021, it’ll feature two miles of new taxiways, additional space for security check-in, and, for the first time, access by high-speed ferry and AirTrain. We’ll let you know if we hear back from the governor’s office or Koons’s reps and find out whether there will also be a $58 million balloon dog.
In the meantime, here are some renderings of the Delta wing, which broke ground today.
Correction: The original version of this post was revised to correct the spelling of Kirsten Sibilia’s name.