With its headquarter in London, the office Foster + Partners held a few days ago the officail opening of a new terminal for Queen Alia Airport in Jordan. The modular building, which is covered with small concrete domes, is inspired by traditional Islamic design and it is intended to create a unique space using passive technologies to maintain a constant temperature against drastic climate changes in the region.
Besides creating a visually stunning and efficient structure, Foster + Partners has built outdoor green spaces to help the purification of the air. The tradition is in harmony with the design of the airport terminal.
Although aesthetically appealing, the modular form of this structure has a practical purpose: it allows the future expansion of the airport, which is said to increase its capacity from 3.5 million to 12 million passengers by 2030.
The shallow domes, created from concrete, extend over the glass facades of the building to provide additional shade, while the high thermal mass concrete ensures consistent temperature throughout the terminal.
The concrete structure is visible from inside and the gravel mixed with the local sand produces a color that helps the creation of a visual continuity between the airport lobby and the exterior landscape.
Outer seats also serve environmental purposes, because they are both social and aesthetic. The courtyard at the entrance of the building is extended and it is full of trees, creating green areas and benches to provide passengers with a lovely place to greet and say goodbye to loved ones.