Launch Slideshow

Along the perimeter of the new Queen Alia International Airport building, precast concrete shade structures catch the light. The team chose concrete because in summer there is a marked difference in climate between day and night in Amman, so the solid structure helps to regulate the interior temperature naturally, says Foster  Partners partner Jonathan Parr.

Queen Alia International Airport

Queen Alia International Airport

  • Along the perimeter of the new Queen Alia International Airport building, precast concrete shade structures catch the light. The team chose concrete because in summer there is a marked difference in climate between day and night in Amman, so the solid structure helps to regulate the interior temperature naturally, says Foster  Partners partner Jonathan Parr.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp4E4D%2Etmp_tcm20-1881900.jpg?width=600

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    Along the perimeter of the new Queen Alia International Airport building, precast concrete shade structures catch the light. The team chose concrete because in summer there is a marked difference in climate between day and night in Amman, so the solid structure helps to regulate the interior temperature naturally, says Foster Partners partner Jonathan Parr.

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    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    Along the perimeter of the new Queen Alia International Airport building, precast concrete shade structures catch the light. The team chose concrete because “in summer there is a marked difference in climate between day and night in Amman, so the solid structure helps to regulate the interior temperature naturally,” says Foster + Partners partner Jonathan Parr.

  • An elevated roadway fronts the airports three-story, 85-foot-high façade, with passenger pick up on the lower level and drop off on the upper. The vaulted ceiling of the departures hall is clearly visible through the glazing that encloses the structure.

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    An elevated roadway fronts the airports three-story, 85-foot-high façade, with passenger pick up on the lower level and drop off on the upper. The vaulted ceiling of the departures hall is clearly visible through the glazing that encloses the structure.

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    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    An elevated roadway fronts the airport’s three-story, 85-foot-high façade, with passenger pick up on the lower level and drop off on the upper. The vaulted ceiling of the departures hall is clearly visible through the glazing that encloses the structure.

  • The cranked 45-degree grid, comprising more than 80 precast concrete vaults, forms the roof plane and becomes plainly evident when seen from above, as pictured. Our original modular concept meant that the building could be easily reconfigured, and can be again in the future, if required, Parr says. An additional 172,000 square feet is planned for completion by 2020.

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    The cranked 45-degree grid, comprising more than 80 precast concrete vaults, forms the roof plane and becomes plainly evident when seen from above, as pictured. Our original modular concept meant that the building could be easily reconfigured, and can be again in the future, if required, Parr says. An additional 172,000 square feet is planned for completion by 2020.

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    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    The cranked 45-degree grid, comprising more than 80 precast concrete vaults, forms the roof plane and becomes plainly evident when seen from above, as pictured. “Our original modular concept meant that the building could be easily reconfigured, and can be again in the future, if required,” Parr says. An additional 172,000 square feet is planned for completion by 2020.

  • Deep overhangs of the vaulted, concrete roof structure shade the glazed curtainwall that wraps the passenger drop-off and pick-up areas. This shading, combined with the thermal mass of the concrete structure, radically reduces energy loads for the building. The precast concrete roof shells sit on precast X-beams and column heads, which rest on in-situ concrete columns, Parr explains.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp5A56%2Etmp_tcm20-1881903.jpg?width=600

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    Deep overhangs of the vaulted, concrete roof structure shade the glazed curtainwall that wraps the passenger drop-off and pick-up areas. This shading, combined with the thermal mass of the concrete structure, radically reduces energy loads for the building. The precast concrete roof shells sit on precast X-beams and column heads, which rest on in-situ concrete columns, Parr explains.

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    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    Deep overhangs of the vaulted, concrete roof structure shade the glazed curtainwall that wraps the passenger drop-off and pick-up areas. This shading, combined with the thermal mass of the concrete structure, radically reduces energy loads for the building. “The precast concrete roof shells sit on precast X-beams and column heads, which rest on in-situ concrete columns,” Parr explains.

  • The interiors are airy, with daylight spilling through the glazed perimeter walls and through louvered skylights in the vaulted ceiling. We illuminated the interior with indirect sunlight by filtering daylight through split beams at the junctions between the concrete domesthe effect is a little like a desert palm, whose leaves extend and widen from very slender branches close to the trunk, Parr says. The underside of each shallow dome is inscribed with a linear pattern that recalls the fronds of palm leaves, as well as examples from Islamic art.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp5DE2%2Etmp_tcm20-1881904.jpg?width=600

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    The interiors are airy, with daylight spilling through the glazed perimeter walls and through louvered skylights in the vaulted ceiling. We illuminated the interior with indirect sunlight by filtering daylight through split beams at the junctions between the concrete domesthe effect is a little like a desert palm, whose leaves extend and widen from very slender branches close to the trunk, Parr says. The underside of each shallow dome is inscribed with a linear pattern that recalls the fronds of palm leaves, as well as examples from Islamic art.

    600

    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    The interiors are airy, with daylight spilling through the glazed perimeter walls and through louvered skylights in the vaulted ceiling. “We illuminated the interior with indirect sunlight by filtering daylight through split beams at the junctions between the concrete domes—the effect is a little like a desert palm, whose leaves extend and widen from very slender branches close to the trunk,” Parr says. The underside of each shallow dome is inscribed with a linear pattern that recalls the fronds of palm leaves, as well as examples from Islamic art.

  • At the departure gates, fixed, arced louvers in front of the glass help to further shade the building. For additional energy offset, the air is preconditioned by plants and trees in open courtyards before it is diverted into the handling systems. The airports open-air courtyards also incorporate pools, which are lined with dark tiles so that they are highly reflectivethey bounce indirect daylight back into the baggage claim areas, Parr says.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp614E%2Etmp_tcm20-1881905.jpg?width=600

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    At the departure gates, fixed, arced louvers in front of the glass help to further shade the building. For additional energy offset, the air is preconditioned by plants and trees in open courtyards before it is diverted into the handling systems. The airports open-air courtyards also incorporate pools, which are lined with dark tiles so that they are highly reflectivethey bounce indirect daylight back into the baggage claim areas, Parr says.

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    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    At the departure gates, fixed, arced louvers in front of the glass help to further shade the building. For additional energy offset, the air is preconditioned by plants and trees in open courtyards before it is diverted into the handling systems. “The airport’s open-air courtyards also incorporate pools, which are lined with dark tiles so that they are highly reflective—they ‘bounce’ indirect daylight back into the baggage claim areas,” Parr says.

  • The double-height baggage claim area, which features six carousels, is located on the ground floor. The space serves the airports current 3 million passengers annually, but it can accommodate the planned six-percent growth per year that will result in a capacity of 12.8 million passengers by 2030.

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    The double-height baggage claim area, which features six carousels, is located on the ground floor. The space serves the airports current 3 million passengers annually, but it can accommodate the planned six-percent growth per year that will result in a capacity of 12.8 million passengers by 2030.

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    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    The double-height baggage claim area, which features six carousels, is located on the ground floor. The space serves the airport’s current 3 million passengers annually, but it can accommodate the planned six-percent growth per year that will result in a capacity of 12.8 million passengers by 2030.

  • Site Plan.

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    Site Plan.

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    Courtesy Foster + Partners

    Site Plan.

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  • North-South Section.

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    North-South Section.

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    Courtesy Foster + Partners

    North–South Section.

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    West–East Section

  • To combat the intense heat of the Jordanian summers, the architects capped the exterior surface of the precast concrete domes with a metal cladding that serves as a heat shield. The metal standing-seam roof is raised above the concrete domes to form a cavity for air to vent any possible buildup of heat, Parr explains.

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    To combat the intense heat of the Jordanian summers, the architects capped the exterior surface of the precast concrete domes with a metal cladding that serves as a heat shield. The metal standing-seam roof is raised above the concrete domes to form a cavity for air to vent any possible buildup of heat, Parr explains.

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    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    To combat the intense heat of the Jordanian summers, the architects capped the exterior surface of the precast concrete domes with a metal cladding that serves as a heat shield. “The metal standing-seam roof is raised above the concrete domes to form a cavity for air to vent any possible buildup of heat,” Parr explains.

  • The raw interior surfaces of the concrete domes are left exposed, and the center of each is inscribed with a linear pattern. That pattern is echoed in the frit of the glass in each skylight. We used body-tinted glass to carefully control the amount of light transmitted, Parr says, and a linear frit on the glass creates a play of light and shade internally, while combating glare.

    http://www.architectmagazine.com/Images/tmp852A%2Etmp_tcm20-1881914.jpg?width=600

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    The raw interior surfaces of the concrete domes are left exposed, and the center of each is inscribed with a linear pattern. That pattern is echoed in the frit of the glass in each skylight. We used body-tinted glass to carefully control the amount of light transmitted, Parr says, and a linear frit on the glass creates a play of light and shade internally, while combating glare.

    600

    Courtesy Nigel Young | Foster + Partners

    The raw interior surfaces of the concrete domes are left exposed, and the center of each is inscribed with a linear pattern. That pattern is echoed in the frit of the glass in each skylight. “We used body-tinted glass to carefully control the amount of light transmitted,” Parr says, and “a linear frit on the glass creates a play of light and shade internally, while combating glare.”

With Middle Eastern airlines taking on a growing volume of global traffic, the region’s airports are quickly expanding to become major hubs for international travelers. Case in point: Amman, Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport played host to a scant two-and-a-quarter million passengers per annum a decade ago; today it takes on nearly three times that number, and with a new terminal just completed by London-based architects Foster + Partners, its capacity has swollen to a full 9 million.

The 100,000-square-meter (1.08 million-square-foot) facility makes room for as many as 15 additional at new departure gates and remote stands, meaning weary flyers now spend less time taxiing to the gate. Once inside, passengers find themselves in an airy, light-filled environment, sheltered beneath a roof system of precast and poured concrete, shaped into a sequence of billowing baldachins. The effect of the more than 80 conjoined domes seems a gesture to the desert tents of the region’s past, and a light, decorative pattern traced on portions of the ceiling surface evokes the complex geo­metries of historical Islamic art. Yet the Foster team designed the roof with the future in mind—the insulating quality of the concrete helps to keep the building cool in the day and warm in the evening, reducing energy consumption while keeping Amman’s extreme climate in check.

Also indicative of Jordan’s future: the price tag. The current phase of terminal construction rings in at $850 million—including $110 million for rehabbing existing facilities—and there’s more to come, with another stage of the expansion slated for completion by 2020. That phase will add another 16,000 square meters (172,223 square feet) and another 15 aircraft berths to the airport. It will allow for passenger capacity to rise from 9 million per year in the current facility to 12.8 million per year, making Amman a major commercial entrepôt to the region. Even with the additional facilities, it will still face stiff competition: Dubai International Airport is already home to the world’s largest terminal, and the city-state in the United Arab Emirates recently unveiled plans to increase capacity to a stunning 90 million passengers by 2018.

For more details and images of Queen Alia International Airport, visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.



Project Credits
Project  Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
Client  Mawared (National Resources Investment and Development Corp.) (concept design); The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Ministry of Transport (scheme design); Airport International Group P.S.C., Joannou & Paraskevaides (overseas), J&P-AVAX (detail design)
Architect  Foster + Partners, London—Norman Foster, Hon. FAIA, Mouzhan Majidi, AIA, Darryn Holder (all phases); Huw Thomas, Richard Hawkins, Michael Gentz, John Ball, Riko Sibbe, Tie Fan, Gunnar Dittrich, Young Wei-Yang Chiu, Zheng Yu, William Walshe, Joyce Wang (concept design); Huw Thomas, Jonathan Parr, Riko Sibbe, Gunnar Dittrich, Irene Wong, Sang-kil Park, Alicja Kiszczuk, Maria de la Guardia, Coco Cugat, Andres Flores, Carol Aoun, Asa Nilsson, Christoph Vogl, Sebastian Gmelin, Petr Stefek, Christopher Gresham, Wiena Wang, Tessa Derry, Martin Lorger, Takehiko Iseki, Henry Suryo, Juan Frigerio, David Yang, Ellen Haukas, Heather Moore, Jay Shah, Katie Wu, Maria Szelmeczka, Sabah Ashiq, Siri Stromme Johansen, Sophie Deheegher, Laura Silva Dona (scheme design); Huw Thomas, Jonathan Parr, Tie Fan, Omar Al Omari, Maher Matar, Niall Starling, Katja Martini, Irene Wong, Anna Kowal, Alicja Kiszczuk, Christoph Vogl, Christopher Gresham, Birgit Schoenbrodt, Piotr Ehrenhalt, Sandra Debbas, Katrin Hass, Bettina Richter, Tobias Schnur, Eduard Petriu, Oxana Krause, Susanne Bellinghausen, Marta Gonzalez, Stefanie Arnold, Yazan Bilbeisi (detail design); Jonathan Parr, Tie Fan, Omar Al Omari, Maher Matar, Michele Pecoraro, Seif El Din, Katja Martini, Irene Wong, Anna Kowal, Alicja Kiszczuk, Christoph Vogl, Piotr Ehrenhalt, Sandra Debbas, Marina Cisneros, Anna Perity (aesthetic supervision of production information & construction)
Airport Consultant  NACO
Structural and Climate Engineer  Buro Happold
Quantity Surveyor  Davis Langdon
Local Architects  Maisam Dar Al-Omran JV
Airport Systems & BHS  ADPi
Structure and MEP  Zuhair Fayez Partnership
Civil and Landscape Consultant  Dar Al-Handasah
Acoustics  Rahe Kraft, Sandy Brown
Lighting  World of Lights, iGuzzini
Fire  Exova Warrington
Carpet Design  Hana Rihani Huber
Size  116,000 square meters (1,248,613 square feet)
Cost  $850 million