Official opening of Queen Alia International Airport in Amman

Official opening of Queen Alia International Airport in Amman

Architect
Foster + Partners

maisam architects & engineers
Location
Amman, Jordan
Project Year
2013
Category
Airports
Stories By
Foster + Partners

iGuzzini

maisam architects & engineers
Nigel Young, ©Foster + Partners

Official opening of Queen Alia International Airport in Amman

Foster + Partners as Architects

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.


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.


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.


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. 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.


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. 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 Airport

iGuzzini as Lighting

A unique combination of the traditional and the modern, Queen Alia International Airport epitomises the soul of Amman, a modern, cosmopolitan city and one of the oldest gems in human history. The design was inspired by local architecture and tradition. The whole project aims to celebrate Bedouin tradition and culture: from the convex roof, reminiscent of the local architecture and of the billowing black fabric of a tent, to the geometric designs applied on every intrados on show and the tree-filled courtyards. The squares aren’t there just in honour of the Bedouin custom of gathering at the airport in large groups to see off loved ones, but are also a natural way of filtering pollution and pre-conditioning the air with plants and trees. As a result of Amman’s climate, the high-tech building was built mainly using concrete, a material which helps with natural regulation of the interior temperature, reducing energy consumption. The design makes the best possible use of daylight and highlights the colours and shades of the surrounding countryside so as to avoid an artificial effect. From the terminals, endless views of the desert and the daylight streaming into the atrium give passengers waiting to board a relaxing experience, whilst those who have just landed are guaranteed a first glance of the country from a wonderfully integrated position. To maximise the natural effect, integration with the context and the sense of openness, light plays a central role in the design. iGuzzini UK worked closely with Foster+Partners to light the main departures floor, inside and out. 150W HIT MaxiWoody spotlights were fitted in openings in the skylights, pointing down to give 200 lux of very even lighting on the ground below. The sinuous roof was a challenge to light. At night, the departures hall looks very different to its daytime appearance. The problem was finding the right positions to fit the lamps for indirect lighting, so that each would bathe the ceiling vaults in the same level of light, for a uniform overall look to the departures hall. A series of 70 and 150W HIT iGuzzini iPro asymmetric flood lights were mounted on top of retail cabins, within signage totems and also on top of the check-in desk structures. These limited locations provided the design team with a real challenge in terms of delivering a consistent lit effect. The layout of the lamps installed in the departures building was also replicated in the two wings alongside the main structure, and outside, where the vaults cover the stopping area in front of the main terminal building. Queen Alia International Airport is an excellent example of cooperation and teamwork between the international network and the company, since the project was completed with the help of iGuzzini Middle East, the regional branch which supplied all on-site support and guidance to make luminaire installation easier.

Queen Alia International Airport, New Terminal

maisam architects & engineers as Architects

Amman is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, and the Queen Alia International Airport resonates with a sense of place and local architecture. The QAIA represents a unique collaboration and teamwork between the world renowned firm Foster + Partners and maisam architects + engineers. This joint effort materializes a relationship between a star architect working in tandem with a local firm, and underlines the success of the project. AIG won the tender of the Government of Jordan to rehabilitate, expand and operate the airport.


maisam were selected to work on the new terminal building, to act as the reviewer on all retail/outlet fit-outs inside the terminal, and to provide the BOT consortium that includes Airport De Paris and J&P among other partners with the detailed design and construction documents for this project in collaboration with Foster + Partners. These involved making sure that all designs and works executed in the terminal were in accordance with the technical standards and requirements of the building, in addition to respect the overall look and feel of the design intent of the terminal interior space. maisam also were chosen to develop the design and supervised the construction works of many amenities and outlets in the terminal which include Starbucks, Global Exchange, Jordan River Foundation store, the Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge and the VIP Lounge.


The airport’s highly efficient passive design, which is inspired by local traditions, is based on a flexible modular unit that will allow for future expansion. Constructed entirely from concrete, in response to Amman’s climate, the tessellated roof canopy comprises a series of shallow domes which extend to shade the façade. The domes branch out from their supporting columns echoing black flowing fabric of a Bedouin tent and reflects a geometric pattern based on traditional Islamic forms. These concrete modular units incorporate local gravel to reduce maintenance requirements, the embodied energy of the material, and to harmonize with the natural shades of the Jordanian Sand.


The new terminal building is glazed on all sides to allow uninterrupted views of the aircrafts. Horizontal louvers shade the facades from direct sunlight and eliminate glare. There are references to the Jordanian tradition of hospitality with an enlarged forecourt to create a landscaped plaza with seating, shaded by trees in celebration of the custom family group congregations that bid farewell and welcome travelers at the airport. Two piers of departure gates span along either side of the central terminal, which contains the traveler processing areas, shops, lounges and restaurants. A feature of vernacular architecture- open air courtyards- is introduced between the departure gates which also contribute to the terminal’s environmental strategy.


The expansion of the airport in Amman presents a unique opportunity to secure Queen Alia International Airport as a main hub in the Levant Region. This is a chance to create a new world class hub for travelers in the Middle East. The new Queen Alia International Airport is much more than a vehicle for arrival and departure- it is a symbol of a place and a gateway to the nation.23

Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
LightingiGuzzini
ManufacturersEuramax Coated Products
Product Spec Sheet
Lighting
Manufacturers
ZVE Fraunhofer Institute
next project

ZVE Fraunhofer Institute

Research Facilities
Stuttgart, Germany - Build completed in 2006
View Project