Foster + Partners to design 'one of the world's largest airports' in Riyadh
By Niall Patrick Walsh|
Friday, Dec 2, 2022
Foster + Partners has won a competition to design a master plan for the King Salman International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. When completed, the 14,000-acre scheme is expected to be one of the world’s largest airports.
Fosters’ plan calls for six parallel runways accompanied by 129 million square feet of airport support facilities, residential and recreational facilities, and retail outlets. Up to 120 million travelers will be accommodated in the airport by 2030, increasing to 185 million travelers and 3.5 million tons of cargo by 2050; all served by a combination of newly built structures and the retention of the airport's already-existing terminals.
Foster + Partners describes the airport as an “aerotropolis” which prioritizes a “seamless customer journey, world-class efficient operations, and innovation,” with a design that will also take into account “Riyadh’s identity and the Saudi culture.” The team also intends for the airport to be powered by renewable energy and to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
“Looking forward to the future, the new King Salman International Airport reimagines the traditional terminal as a single concourse loop, served by multiple entrances,” Luke Fox, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, explained. “The terminal is very much of its place and connects passengers to the sensory experiences of the city, with natural elements, tempered light and state-of-the-art facilities.”
News of the commission comes one year after Norman Foster defended his firm’s involvement in airport projects despite criticism from climate groups. The dispute was ignited at the end of 2020 when Foster + Partners withdrew from the Architects Declare commitmentafter the initiative called for firms not committed to ending “business as usual” projects to leave the group.
The Riyadh airport is also one of several recent Foster + Partners commissions shared in our editorial. Last week, the firm gained permit approval for a cross-laminated timber scheme in London, while earlier in November, construction began on their ‘floating’ extension to the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum in Spain. Last month, Foster + Partners completed the EU’s tallest building in Warsaw, Poland, while also completing the new 425 Park Avenue tower in Manhattan.
sameolddoctor · Dec 02, 22 6:39 PM
Looks like LAX but much worse (both design wise and context wise). Also, bicyclists in the airport concourse in Saudi, yeah right.
Orhan Ayyüce · Dec 02, 22 6:41 PM
Arabic cities have so much to learn from.
sameolddoctor · Dec 02, 22 7:40 PM
Right, like how to abuse poorer humans to build their dumpy cities
Orhan Ayyüce · Dec 02, 22 11:13 PM
The exploitation of labor is everywhere. After looking at your posts about that part of the world and its people, I am wondering if you have "other" issues with Arab countries.
Thayer-D · Dec 02, 22 11:41 PM
"The exploitation of labor is everywhere"
I'm pretty sure there's no equivalent to OSHA in Quatar, especially considering the ratio of 'real' Qataris to 'guest' workers. The 'what about your issues' is the classic Autocrat's deflection. See Tyler Adams.
Orhan Ayyüce · Dec 03, 22 4:41 AM
hey! I want to thank you for all you do to advance the workers’ rights. Because of your efforts, our unions are healthy, workers, especially the farm workers and day laborers in your hometown.
“Democracy for Qatar!”
Clapping hands for you!
Orhan Ayyüce · Dec 03, 22 4:47 AM
I meant farm workers and day laborers are taken care of by health care and living wages.
sameolddoctor · Dec 03, 22 6:48 AM
"The exploitation of labor is everywhere. After looking at your posts about that part of the world and its people, I am wondering if you have "other" issues with Arab countries. "
Orhan, if you think over 6500 workers dead for a corrupt, demonic World Cup can be equated to the "exploitation of labor everywhere", there are really no words to say. Thanks for making your point clear.
As for the wealthy Middle East countries like the one mentioned here, their modern-day reality is indeed based on slavery, mistreatment of the working class and a complete disdain of Human Rights. That is what I have against them, as do so many others. No other issues really, and yes I have traveled to many of said countries.
Orhan Ayyüce · Dec 03, 22 5:33 PM
Everything you are criticizing other countries for, we have it worse right here but you loudly express racism against Arabs and Muslims openly, that's very obvious from your posts. Slavery in Europe and right here is well and alive, though in different forms.
From what I read over time, you don't really care about workers all that much.
sameolddoctor · Dec 04, 22 5:13 AM
" Slavery in Europe and right here is well and alive, though in different forms."
In that way all of us are slaves to something, but 6,500 of us do not die building stadiums or roads, after paying someone for our visas. So yeah, not the same at all. And no, we do not have it worse right here, even for the most downtrodden in our society. So you are completely wrong.
I usually admire your posts, Orhan, but not this time. And I do not know where you heard "that I do not care about workers that much".
Orhan Ayyüce · Dec 04, 22 10:21 AM
Dr., See my initial post. I was prompted by the airport design in this news item.
Likewise, I enjoy your vitriol sometimes but not at the cost of shutting the conversation.
So, we won't be able to talk about Arabic cities and their urbanism until the Gulf states clean up their act? Each time an Arabic architecture subject comes up you and a few others jump in cursing rich emirs, sultans, brutal rulers, backward and uncivilized people who treat women wrong, etc, etc.
Besides, I never condoned the death of workers either, who with a right mind would?
Getting back to my initial post, here are a few resources some might find useful as I do:
sameolddoctor · Dec 05, 22 8:15 PM
Got it Orhan, and this will be my last post on this matter - as you point out, one may need to consider the Urbanism (or lack thereof) of these place is slightly divorced from labor and human rights issues, but frankly that is a tough pill for me to swallow, as most of these GCC countries do have an urbanism that is indeed totally based on slave labor for creating their artificial futures.
But yes, point taken.
Orhan Ayyüce · Dec 06, 22 12:48 AM
Nam Henderson · Jan 10, 23 5:24 AM
Regarding bicyclists in the concourse, assuming this is a reference to image 5, presumably that is not concourse but rather a street-scene from the larger/surrounding aerotropolis?
Whereas an image such as #4 would more directly represent a view of the concourse or terminal?
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