Foster + Partners to design Saudi tourism gigaproject airport

Foster + Partners to design Saudi tourism gigaproject airport

Fosters + Partners, The Red Sea Project, Saudi Arabia

Sustainable architecture and cutting-edge technology will be used by Fosters + Partners to design Saudi Arabia’s multibillion-dollar Red Sea Project airport.

The UK architecture practice has been awarded a contract by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the Red Sea Project developer, to design an airport estimated to serve up to one million passengers per year by 2030.

It will have an eco-friendly, sustainable design with architecture that draws its inspiration from the local context.

Due to be completed in 2022, it will use technology to optimises the user journey to create a good first impression for tourists travelling to what TRSDC claims is one of the world’s most ambitious tourism projects.

The developer, backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, described the airport design contract as a key step in the project’s development.

“Awarding the contract for the design of our airport is an important milestone and the first of the underlying infrastructure projects of the destination” said John Pagano, CEO, TRSDC.

“Foster + Partners and their engineering sub-consultant, WSP, have demonstrated their ability to deliver projects in line with world-class development and our sustainability standards. We look forward to collaborating with them to develop an innovative design that will enhance the visitor experience, meet our sustainability goals and enable us to deliver an airport for the future.”

Gerard Evenden, head of studio at Foster + Partners, added: “The Red Sea Airport has been envisaged as a gateway to one of the most unique resorts in the world and an integral part of the visitor experience. Inspired by the colours and textures of the desert landscape, the design seeks to create a calm and luxurious journey through the terminal and will become a transit hub for visitors coming in by both land and air.”

Smart technology will play a key role in the development, according to Ian Williamson, chief project delivery officer at TRSDC, although he did not specify what type.

“The airport will be the visitor’s first experience of the destination,” he added. “We aim to deliver a seamless landing experience which immerses our guests in the destination from the moment they arrive.”

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