Foster + Partners' new airport will focus on sustainability and luxury
Foster + Partners has been commissioned to design a new airport in Saudi Arabia. Named the Red Sea Airport, the project will serve a burgeoning luxury tourist development in the area and will be wholly powered by renewable energy sources.
The Red Sea Airport is due to open in 2022 and is expected to serve about a million passengers per year by 2030, so is definitely on the smaller side for an airport. In comparison, Zaha Hadid Architects' huge Beijing Daxing International Airport will eventually host up to 100 million passengers a year.
The airport will be topped by shell-like roofs inspired by the local landscape. We've no word yet on what kind of renewable energy will be used to power it, but given Saudi Arabia's ample sunshine year-round, solar panels seems a good bet.
In addition to sustainability, the focus is on luxury too. Foster + Partners says that there will be five departure suites boasting spas and restaurants. There will also be significant greenery.
"The design of the terminal aims to bring the experience of a private aircraft terminal to every traveler by providing smaller, intimate spaces that feel luxurious and personalized," says Foster+Partners. "The form of the roof shells is inspired by the desert dunes and cantilevers on the landside and airside to provide shade to the passengers. An internal green oasis with an indigenously planted garden forms a green focus, creating a relaxed, resort-like atmosphere within the airport terminal. The airport will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy."
The Red Sea Airport will be connected to the larger Red Sea Project, which is another one of those ambitious Saudi Arabian tourist destinations along the lines of the Qiddiya Giga Project. It consists of an archipelago of over 90 islands with spectacular scenery such as dormant volcanoes, mountains, and deserts. The first phase of the development, also opening in 2022, will have 14 hotels, as well as commercial, retail and leisure facilities, plus other attractions.