Foster + Partners has won the competition to design a new terminal for the airport of Abha, the capital of Saudi Arabia’s Asser Region. Taking inspiration from the nearby village of Rijal Almaa, the winning scheme presents a series of interconnected modular cluster, courtyards, and footbridges.
Stefan Behling of Foster + Partners said: “Learning from the local vernacular, our terminal guides passengers through a series of inviting human-scale spaces and connects them with green courtyards, which are 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.”
The stone buildings, which taper at the top, evoke Rijal Almaa’s architectural tradition, generating different kinds of functional spaces. The project’s modularity makes it highly flexible for future enlargements. The design addresses the region’s climate, with the massing taking advantage of prevailing winds to optimize natural ventilation.