Queen Alia International Airport – Amman Building, Jordan

Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan, Architect, Image, Design, Project

Queen Alia International Airport Amman

Contemporary Jordanian Building – design by Foster + Partners

3 Jan 2014

This building is one of our picks from
Buildings of 2013 : Architecture of the Year
e-architect’s selection of key architectural developments posted on the site in the last year

22 Mar 2013

Queen Alia International Airport Building

Gateway to Amman

Design: Foster + Partners

Queen Alia International Airport
photo © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

The architects have produced a majestic, elegant building for Jordan. The have taken the repetitive pattern and top-lit concept of their earlier Stansted Airport building and improved it with a wonderful treatment of concrete. The building is a heavyweight, concrete flowing but controlled – articulated by well-placed joints. It seems like a return to the serious concrete structures of the past (Kahn, etc.) and certainly back to the simple power of Chep Lap Kok Airport – compared to some of the more lightweight structures in the practice’s oeuvre. This is successful, confident architecture that is infused with Middle Eastern traditions – rather than ignoring the local culture or indeed slavishly copying it – gaining power from the simplicity of the roof matrix.
How much does your building weigh Mr Foster?

Adrian Welch, e-architect Editor

22 Mar 2013 – Today marked the official opening of Queen Alia International Airport, the spectacular new gateway to Amman. 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.

Queen Alia International Airport
photo © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

In response to Amman’s climate, where summer temperatures vary markedly between day and night time, the building is constructed largely from concrete, the high thermal mass of the material providing passive environmental control. The tessellated roof canopy comprises a series of shallow concrete domes, which extend to shade the facades – each dome provided a modular unit for construction. The domes branch out from the supporting columns like the leaves of a desert palm and daylight floods the concourse through split beams at the column junctions. Echoing the veins of a leaf, a geometric pattern based on traditional Islamic forms is applied to each exposed soffit. The complex geometry of the roof shells and fabrication strategy was developed in conjunction with Foster + Partners in-house geometry specialists.

Queen Alia International Airport
photo © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

Two piers of departure gates run along either side of the central building, which contains the main processing areas and shops, lounges and restaurants. Between these volumes, open-air courtyards – a feature of vernacular architecture in the region – contribute to the terminal’s environmental strategy: the plants and trees help to filter pollution and pre-condition the air before it is drawn into the air handling system and reflecting pools bounce indirect natural light into the airport.

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photos © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

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.

Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport
photos © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

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. There are also references to the Jordanian tradition of hospitality – in celebration of the custom for family groups to congregate at the airport, the forecourt has been enlarged to create a landscaped plaza with seating, shaded by trees, where people can gather to bid farewell or welcome returning travellers.

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photos © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

Mouzhan Majidi, Chief Executive, Foster + Partners:
“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.

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photos © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

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.”

Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport
photos © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport
photos © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

Queen Alia International Airport Queen Alia International Airport
photos © Nigel Young – Foster + Partners

Queen Alia International Airport images / information from Foster + Partners

Previously:

Queen Alia International Airport Building

Queen Alia International Airport

Amman, Jordan

2005-

Design: Foster + Partners

Queen Alia International Airport Amman Queen Alia International Airport
images © Foster + Partners

The design for the Queen Alia International Airport combines function, technology and a distinct sense of place to provide a greatly expanded and enhanced gateway to the region.

Queen Alia Airport images / information from Foster + Partners

Queen Alia International Airport design : Foster & Partners


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

Jordan Architecture

Airport Buildings

Jordan Architecture – Selection

‘Living Wall’ project, Amman, northern Jordan
Foster + Partners
Living Wall project
image © Foster + Partners
Jordan Buildings

Petra Visitors’ Centre, Arabah, Ma’an Governorate, southern Jordan
Edward Cullinan Architects
Petra Visitors’ Centre
picture from architect
Jordanian Building : Petra

Queen Alia International Airport Amman architect : Foster & Partners

Saudia Arabian Buildings

Yemen Architecture

Airport Architecture

Foster + Partners Buildings

Comments / photos for the Queen Alia International Airport Jordan page welcome

Queen Alia International Airport