Foster + Partners to design a new terminal for Abha Airport in Saudi Arabia

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Abha Airport

Abha is the capital of the Asir Region in Saudi Arabia. Due to its mild climate, Abha is a popular tourist destination among Saudis. Foster + Partners recently won a competition to design a new terminal for Abha Airport located in the Asir Region. The winning design was inspired by the nearby Rijal Almaa village and reimagined the airport terminal as a collection of interconnected human-scale clusters, outdoor courtyards, and walkways.

“Learning from the local vernacular, our terminal guides passengers through a series of inviting human-scale spaces and connects them with green courtyards open to the elements. This is a complete reinvention of the airport as we know it, with an emphasis on traditional Aseeri details, local materials, and terraced landscaping. It is both a celebration of – and an introduction to – the beauty of the Aseer Region.” said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners.

“Buildings open onto landscaped courtyards that are surrounded by retail, restaurants, and cafes. Those waiting to board can browse the shops and enjoy refreshments inside the airport or in the open air. Learning from the materiality of the nearby village, rough stone facades contrast with a more colourful and refined interior palette. This anchors the scheme within its context and creates a distinctive gateway to the Aseer Region.” said Nikolai Malsch, Senior Partner, Foster + Partners.

Before Abha Airport, Foster + Partners won the design competition for the master plan of King Salman International Airport. In 2021, the well-known studio started constructing the new Red Sea International Airport in Saudi Arabia, which is still under construction and expected to open soon.

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