The last time we heard from Foster + Partners, they had just revealed their incredible plans for Apple’s new headquarters in California. Now jumping a few ponds over, the firm has announced they will be designing the new Kuwait International Airport.
Set in the Arabian desert with an average annual temperature of 90 degrees, Kuwait is one of the hottest places on earth. The airport will feature a series of concrete pillars that help cool and protect the interior by providing thermal mass. The roof is an elegantly flowing canopy that is fitted with photovoltaic solar panels to harvest the sun’s energy. It also features various glazed openings that allow natural light to illuminate the terminal while deflecting heat and solar radiation.
The massive airport is divided into three wings – each of which is almost a mile long – that connect in a dramatic 82-foot-high central dome. The solidity of the structure combined with the swooping and curved design is a comment on both modernity and tradition, as it mimics the unique style of Kuwait’s customary dhow sailboat. The airport’s design also aims to offer a welcoming and comfortable environment for travelers. A spacious entry plaza complete with a unique landscaped area exhibits native desert plants while waterfalls along the baggage claim area serve to cool and relax the weary.
Strategically located in the middle of the desert, the airport will accommodate 13 million passengers a year and has the flexibility to expand over time to nearly 50 million in the future. The enormous and modern airport will be a new symbol of Kuwait’s contemporary style and design.