Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jeddah New Airport

Jeddah New Airport

The main terminal is in the shape of a ring with an oasis at its centre and is configured to cope with a massive increase in visitor numbers during the Hajj , while the smaller Royal terminal echoes the form of the larger building.

Below is a statement from OMA:


For 33 days per year the new Jeddah Airport will host the influx of two million Muslims for the holy Hajj period in Mecca . No other airport in the world can claim such overwhelming specificity of its use. These programmatic requirements form the base for a new approach to both the organization of the airport and its architecture

This discrepancy is also expressed in the design of the airport , with departures generally located in a 'grandiose space' on top (mostly under a billowing roof) and arrivals located in a flat utilitarian luggage-collect-space below , making the first acquaintance with a new destination often one of disappointment.

The unique condition and purpose of the new Jeddah International Airport presents us with a compelling reason to consider arriving with the same consideration as leaving. ( Mecca you don't leave , to Mecca you go!)

The surface required by the Hajj equals that of the airport itself. Accommodating the Hajj theoretically means building the same volume twice , with one volume being empty for most of the year. In the current situation this is solved by having the Hajj section as a temporary structure in the form of a big tent.

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