The airport is designed to be powered by 100% renewable energy
The Red Sea International Airport, currently being constructed on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, is yet another architectural marvel designed by Foster + Partners, inspired by the colours and textures of the desert landscape.
Scheduled for completion in 2022 and designed to reach a capacity of one million passengers a year by 2030, the new airport will almost exclusively serve tourists visiting The Red Sea Project tourist development.
Reducing Energy Demand
The visuals are fascinating, showing a series of five dune-like pods arranged radially around a central drop-off and pick-up space. Each pod will house a departure lounge that will incorporate spas and restaurants. Between the pods, spaces filled with greenery will be created for the initial stage of the arrivals process. Each of the quintet of pods can be operated autonomously as a ‘mini terminal’, dictating that parts of the airport can be closed through low demand periods to reduce energy usage.
Two wings extending from either side of the main terminal will enclose the airport’s ancillary spaces, including hangers, logistics bags and baggage handling facilities. This arrangement will reduce the overall envelope and energy demand when compared to traditional stand-alone ancillary buildings.
Foster + Partners is aiming for a LEED Platinum sustainability rating, with the airport designed to be powered by 100% renewable energy and constructed and operated using a zero single-use plastic philosophy.
The terminal’s roof shells will extend from the building to shade both the airport’s landside and airside areas.
The general shape of the terminal building has been planned to shelter the internal environment from solar gains and, as a result, significantly reduce the overall energy demand for cooling in the building through self-shading. Moreover, with most of the glazing facing north, there will be increased daylight penetration without compromising solar performance.
Along with the main terminal building, a runway and dedicated seaplane runway and three helipads are under construction.