The associate partner said JB&B was “forward-thinking” nearly six decades ago, using displacement air and other elements that engineers use today. All the firm has to do is upgrade the technology and add a cogeneration facility to generate 100 percent of the power on site.
The hotel, meanwhile, will be a LEED-certified building with energy-saving technology. Horch said he’s excited to reposition a landmark in New York City history.
“It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunity projects,” he said. “You’re taking this 1960s, beautiful architectural landscape and creating something new and different.”
Horch predicts that in five to 10 years, the TWA terminal and hotel will be a hub. It’s going to host conferences, feature new restaurants and be a destination. In fact, the project could “change how airports are viewed,” he said.
“With airports, you’re in and out, trying to get home or get away as quickly as possible,” Horch said. “Now, you’vd got this destination. You can spend the night in the hotel. You can go to a beautiful restaurant, overlook the runways and see the airplanes coming in and out.
“I really think it’s one of those special beacons within Queens that’s really going to do well,” he added.
The historical project is even more meaningful for Horch, knowing that it was part of a team effort to redesign and remake something special.
“As much as people say engineers are about the technical and the math, there’s an artistry to it,” he said. “To be able to start with bones and shell, create something special, work with the architects, the owners and construction managers, and have this thing come to life.
“You can visualize the people who will be moving in and out, conversing and things happening there,” Horch added. “It’s a very exciting, very fulfilling opportunity for us.”
JB&B has worked on many important buildings in New York City. Horch worked on One Vanderbilt, a 1.7 million-square-foot office building that was developed after the Midtown East rezoning. It’s the third tallest office building in the city.
Another notable building is the New York Genome Center, a laboratory in downtown Manhattan. JB&B repurposed a 1990s-era office building into a 21st century scientific facility.
Due to the diversity of their projects, Horch said no day is the same at JB&B. When he comes into the office, he’s working on several different projects at the same time.
But he can get a call from a client, and adjust his schedule on the spot. On any given day, Horch will run calculations, create high-level layouts, or do shop drawings. He can be out in the field to look over construction with contractors, meet with the architects or deliver presentations to the executive boards of corporations.
“That’s part of the challenge, part of the fun,” he said. “You just don’t know what you’re going to get that day, and you have to figure out how to navigate all of those situations to have a successful day.”
Overall, Horch said he approaches projects as a “team experience,” working with project owners, contractors and other partners
“We feel that the only way to have a successful project is if we’re all on the same page and we’re all marching toward a common goal, which is to build this building and to have the owner happy with it,” he said, “and for the occupants to create something special within that environment.”
As he continues his career with JB&B, Horch said his goal is to continue working on challenging and thought-provoking projects. He aims to strive for excellence in design, customer service and delivering projects that “exemplify the JB&B brand.”
Horch also seeks to be a leader in innovative design, and push the industry to embrace new technologies.
“We never walk away from a project until the owner and customer is satisfied,” he said. “To be able to continue to push that forward and foster that is really a big part of what I do, and what our company does.”