Foster + Partners designs tapered stone airport in Saudi Arabia

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Architecture studio Foster + Partners is set to create a cluster of stone buildings informed by local villages for a new terminal at Abha Airport in Saudi Arabia.

Located in the capital of the Aseer Province in the south west of the country, the design by Foster + Partners will consist of interconnected clusters and landscaped courtyards the draw upon the region’s local vernacular.

Tapered stone buildings will form clusters around external courtyards

“This is a complete reinvention of the airport as we know it, with an emphasis on traditional Aseeri details, local materials and terraced landscaping,” said Foster + Partners head of studio Stefan Behling.

“It is both a celebration of – and an introduction to – the beauty of the Aseer Region.”

Seating will be provided in the landscaped courtyards

The terminal will be made up of tapered stone buildings of varying heights interlinked by open-air courtyards and stone-paved walkways.

The indoor areas will have retail stores, restaurants and cafes, which will open out onto landscaped courtyards to provide outdoor seating.


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A decorative boarding lounge will feature pink-hued floor tiles along with wooden, lattice features, with roof openings drawing daylight into space below.

“Learning from the materiality of the nearby village, rough stone facades contrast with a more colourful and refined interior palette,” said Foster + Partners senior partner Nikolai Malsch.

“This anchors the scheme within its context and creates a distinctive gateway to the Aseer region.”

Wooden latticework will feature in the boarding lounge

Tailored to the region’s warm climate, the terminal layout was designed to utilise prevailing winds to provide natural ventilation across the courtyards.

Meanwhile, stone walls and diffused daylight techniques were designed to create cooler interior environments.

The airport is one of several being designed by Foster + Partners in the country

Other projects set to be completed by Foster + Partners include a sweeping terminal for air taxi services in Dubai and an urban centre based around a skyscraper-flanked spine near Hangzhou, China.

The studio is also working on several airports in Saudi Arabia including the recently announced King Salman International Airport in Riyadh that will be one of the world’s largest airports.

Drone footage was recently released of the studio’s Red Sea International Airport, which is under construction near the coast of the Red Sea. It’s Amaala airport, also near the Red Sea, was criticised by climate activist group Architects Climate Action Network which called on the studio to withdraw from the project over climate concerns.

The images are courtesy of Foster + Partners. 

The post Foster + Partners designs tapered stone airport in Saudi Arabia appeared first on Dezeen.

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