Since it opened in 1981, the Hajj Terminal at King Abdul Aziz International Airport, in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia, has served as the arrival and departure point for millions of Muslim pilgrims journeying to the holy city of Mecca. This year, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)–designed structure is being honored by the American Institute of Architects with the 2010 AIA Twenty-Five Year Award.
In a nomination letter, AIA Chicago executive vice president Zurich Esposito described Hajj Terminal as “a marvel of function and design [that] responds with sensitivity to place, culture and the environment.” Comprising 210 tent structures that cover 2.8 million square feet, the terminal's design also received a 1981 P/A Award, a 1983 Aga Khan Award, and a 1983 AIA National Honor Award. To see images of the terminal, visit the SOM website.
The AIA Twenty-Five Year Award, which recognizes architectural designs that have stood the test of time for a quarter-century, has been given to four other SOM designs: Lever House, New York; Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel, Colorado Springs, Colo.; John Hancock Center, Chicago; and Weyerhaeuser Headquarters, Federal Way, Wash. Previous Twenty-Five Year Award winners include New York's Rockefeller Center; Taliesin West, in Paradise Valley, Ariz.; and the Kimbell Art Museum, in Fort Worth, Texas.