Foster+Partners to design new Riyadh mega-airport masterplan

King Salman International Airport will cover an area of 57sqkm and will be one of the world’s largest airports and a global logistics hub

Foster+Partners, the UK-based architectural firm, has said that it has won a competition to design the masterplan for the King Salman International Airport in Riyadh – a project that is set to become one of the world’s largest airports, spread over an area of 57 square kilometres and featuring a vast array of facilities.

In a statement, the firm said that the project will boost Riyadh’s position as a global logistics hub, stimulate transport, trade, and tourism, while also acting as a bridge linking the East with the West. It aims to accommodate up to 120 million passengers by 2030, and 185 million travellers – and the capacity to process 3.5 million tonnes of cargo – by 2050.

The airport will have six parallel runways and will include the existing terminals named after King Khalid. It will also include 12 square kilometres of airport support facilities, residential and recreational facilities, retail outlets, and other logistical real estate, the architectural firm added.

Travel Experience

“Looking forward to the future, the new King Salman International Airport reimagines the traditional terminal as a single concourse loop, served by multiple entrances. 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,” said Luke Fox, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners.

He added that the new airport will have sustainability at its core, with LEED Platinum certification targeted via the incorporation of cutting-edge green initiatives into the design. Furthermore, the airport will be powered by renewable energy.

While the airport will be an aerotropolis centred around a seamless customer journey, world-class efficient operations, and innovation, Riyadh’s identity and Saudi culture will be taken into consideration for the airport’s design, to ensure a distinctive travel experience for visitors and transit passengers.

Seif A. Bahaa Eldin, Senior Partner, Foster + Partners, concluded: “This visionary development will play an important role in shaping the city into a global hub of creativity and innovation.”


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