If you’re one of the many travelers without access to coveted first-class airport lounges, you now have a whole host of other species to be jealous of. New York’s John F. Kennedy airport is adding a luxury terminal to host the 70,000 jet-setting animals that travel through its gates every year–from pets to livestock, and even the occasional penguin, aardvark and sloth in between.
The ARK terminal–yes, as in Noah’s Ark–will be a $48 million, 178,000-square-foot shelter and quarantine facility and the world’s first airport terminal for animals. Decked out with climate-controlled stalls and showers for horses and cows and swank hotel suites for dogs, the ARK is a huge upgrade from the airport’s aging Vetport, where traveling animals are currently held.
The terminal will be built on the site of an unused cargo terminal that has been demolished. The new location will allow for planes to taxi animals straight to the building. Livestock will be greeted with Hay-lined stalls, and even penguins will be given their own special corner of the terminal to mate in privacy.
Dogs get the preferential treatment with a luxury “resort” run by Paradise 4 Paws with hotel suites that could run up to $100 per night. Globe-trotting canines can lounge alongside a bone-shaped pool or go to the spa, where they have their pick between message therapy or “pawdicures.” They also have the option to “watch” flat-screen TVs, and owners can keep an eye on their pets via webcam.
“A lot of our design making is in collaboration with veterinarians and consultants to help minimize the amount of stress placed on the animal,” Cliff Bollmann, a leading airport architect working on The ARK for Gensler architecture firm, told the Guardian.
The designers also had to consider what to do with animal waste. Their solution? An angled floor that transfers manure into a container. The architects call it a “poo chute.”
For animals that need to be quarantined for a spell (horses, for example, need to be held for three days), the ARK is designed to provide comfortable, safe and stress-free quarters. It also looks to be a lot nicer than most terminals for humans.