State-of-the-art eco design unveiled for Kuwait International Airport


October 7, 2011

The aerodynamic-looking building will include a dramatic 25 meter-high central space, with the external walls stretching 1.2 kilometers wide (image from Foster and Partners)

The aerodynamic-looking building will include a dramatic 25 meter-high central space, with the external walls stretching 1.2 kilometers wide (image from Foster and Partners)

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Foster + Partners, the same architectural firm behind Apple's new campus, recently unveiled its plans for the new Kuwait International Airport. The plans will increase the airport's capacity, whilst creating a state-of-the-art eco terminal building.

"Its design is rooted in a sense of place, responsive to the climate of one of the hottest inhabited environments on earth and inspired by local forms and materials," says Foster + Partners.

The new terminal will feature a trefoil plan with the departure gates forming three symmetrical wings. The aerodynamic-looking building will include a dramatic 25-meter (82 ft) high central space, with the external walls stretching 1.2 kilometers (0.75 mile) wide. Glazed windows will filter daylight and deflect the direct solar radiation, while a canopy supported by concrete columns will shade public exterior spaces and entrances. The baggage reclaim area will be surrounded by an indoor water feature, and the roof will be fitted with an expanse of photovoltaic panels to harvest the Sun's energy.

The Foster + Partners architects are aiming for LEED Gold appraisal - an internationally-recognized green building certification system. If their goal is achieved, Kuwait's will become the first passenger terminal in the world to attain this level of environmental accreditation.

The Kuwait International Airport will annually see 13 million passengers through its doors, with the flexibility to accommodate 25 million passengers, and 50 million with further development.

About the Author
Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

How is this state of anything?

The Earth currently has more than 400 so-called "dead zones"--huge expanses of deep ocean that, because of human activities, become too oxygen-starved during the summer to support most life.

The total global count of dead zones--some of which cover tens of thousands of square miles--is doubling every decade. But even as encroaching dead zones, pollution and other human-caused stressors damage the oceans, more than one billion people worldwide rely on seafood as their primary source of animal protein, and more than 540 million people, or 8 percent of the world's population, earn their living directly or indirectly from the fishing industry, according to the United Nations.

The big question

With humans damaging the very waters that help sustain humanity, the question becomes: How are human-made marine stresses affecting the marine life that we need?


Mr Stiffy

Presumably the irony of a \"green\" airport is lost on Lord Foster.

Facebook User

Yup we\'re killing the planet, but why hijack this comments section with that cause, surely somewhere else is better... I agree we are a naughty human race and should know better but this IS state of the art design for an airport. I don\'t need someone making me feel bad when I read the comments...

Jack Thompson

Errrr.... Yeah: fish are dying... Let's not have airports then. Or computers. Or the Internet. Or Gizmag...

Christopher McBean

Airport...........Oceanic Dead Zones. Sorry don\'t see the connection.

If any new construction is Green in any way it has to be economically beneficial. Any Airport like other infrastructure has a life time limit and must be replaced or refurbished at some time, this is a fact of life.

Airports being the flagship of their country attract a lot of \"stick\" from environmentalists, and are used by millions of travelers every day that scrutinize and \"nit-pick\" over every detail. Therefore, they must be as environmentally sound as possible. After all, what is the point of using the latest Green technology aircraft if the facilities they use are not ecologically sound?

I still don\'t get the connection between Airports and dead zones though??????


Curious to see how much \"green\", sustainable, affordable, sophisticated and acceptable good lighting will be used. Usually, this discipline, the easiest with which to conserve energy and increase productivity, is the orphan in LEED design.

Also, will $1 golf cart rides be available to traverse the huge expanses?


I think the design in general is very good. I don\'t see the point of the bulbous windows. It does not really add anything to the aesthetic and the curves add to the surface area without adding any light. More surface area means more heat transmission. Of course, aesthetics are in the eye of the viewer.

Given the heat, I wonder if it would have been more considerate to the baggage handlers and airplane service personnel if there was more shade where the planes dock; perhaps shading the planes completely like a hangar. It would also be a new experience for most passengers to depart from within a hangar or something like it.


Mindbreaker - interesting point. The amount of heat coming off such a vast stretch of tarmac in that climate will be ridiculous.

Mr Stiffy - we've probably all been guilty of the odd random internet rant so I won't ridicule you too much. I will say though that most gizmag readers are probably on a similar page to you (have brains, some interest in science/reality etc) so ranting at them is probably more of a waste of time than anything else. Also, air travel is far from the worst polluting form of transport per passenger kilometre. It's better than pretty much every type of car or motor bike and it's something that the world needs.

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