Queen Alia International Airport, the new gateway to Amman designed by Foster + Partners, opens today. The airport has a highly efficient passive design, which has been inspired by local traditions, and is based on a flexible modular solution that allows for future expansion – the new building secures the city’s position as the main hub for the Levant region and allows the airport to grow by 6 per cent per annum for the next twenty-five years, increasing capacity from 3.5 million to 12 million passengers per annum by 2030.
Mouzhan Majidi, Chief Executive, Foster + Partners said: “Queen Alia International Airport has been an extraordinary project – it has transformed Amman into a niche hub, while offering critical growth for the wider economy through regional links. The new terminal building is energy efficient, will accommodate phased expansion and provides a dynamic symbol for Jordan. Our early involvement from the conceptual design stage, supporting the selection of operators, and through detailed design and work on site has involved many of our specialist in-house teams, from architects to climate analysts, space planners and geometry specialists. It has been a pleasure to work with our Jordanian colleagues and the team at AIG, and it is great to see the results of this work come to life today” .
The complex geometry of the roof shells and fabrication strategy was developed in conjunction with Foster + Partners in-house geometry specialists. The terminal is glazed on all sides to allow views of the aircraft on the apron and to aid orientation. Horizontal louvres shade the facades from direct sunlight – to eliminate glare, the louvres become concentrated in more exposed areas close to the columns. The concrete structure incorporates local gravel to reduce maintenance requirements and the embodied energy of the material, and to harmonise with the natural shades of local sand.
Amman is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world – the airport’s design resonates with a sense of place and local architecture, particularly in the domed roof, which from the air echoes the black flowing fabric of a Bedouin tent.