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Doha: 5 architecturally fascinating features of the Hamad International Airport in Qatar

Architectural digest 2019-08-14 08:00:43
HOK has designed this international airport that pays a tribute to Qatar

HOK has designed this international airport that pays a tribute to Qatar

The Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha, designed by global architecture firm HOK, began operations in April 2014. This year, it was named the best airport in the world by AirHelp’s Global Airport Ranking for 2019. HIA is home to Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, making Doha a global hub for business and leisure travel. This airport is one of the most architecturally significant terminal buildings in the world, as well as one of the most luxurious. Situated near the Arabian Gulf, Hamad International Airport, with its sleek Passenger Terminal Complex, provides the first glimpse of Qatar to visitors. Here are five of the most fascinating architectural aspects of the airport.

The Hamad International Airport is among the best-designed airports in the world

Hamad International Airport, Doha: A Tribute to the Nation

While the airport has a modern and contemporary design aesthetic, it pays homage to Qatar’s rich cultural heritage and natural environment. The airport features a dramatic, curved shape which is reminiscent of ocean waves and sand dunes; it also houses a distinctive, dedicated Emiri Terminal which resembles the curvature of sails from sailboats. The airport’s mosque is shaped like a water drop and its control tower is designed to be evocative of a crescent moon.

From a water drop to crescent moon, you can find different elements reflected in its design

Hamad International Airport, Doha: Glass Wonder

The departure hall of HIA features a light-filled, undulating roof and steel-framed glass walls providing clear views of the ticketing halls. A large wooden ceiling, in the longest concourse, offers visual warmth, which contrasts with the sleek metal and glass surfaces found throughout the airport. An automatic glass train links the airport’s two large transfer hubs. The entire space features skylights and glass walls, offering natural light and panoramic desert views to passengers.

The glass structure enables natural light to flood inside the airport

Hamad International Airport, Doha: Qatari Hospitality

The airport has a mosque, two hotels, 12 lounges, large duty-free shopping areas and a health club with two squash courts, a gym, a spa and a swimming pool. An extensive public art program displays the works of acclaimed local and international artists. The airport also houses the famous ‘Lamp Bear’ by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. HOK states, “Our design of the main passenger terminal emphasises Qatari hospitality and its Gulf-side location. The terminal gives visitors a spectacular and lasting impression of the country while providing them with a five-star travel experience.”

The famous ‘Lamp Bear’ by Swiss artist Urs Fischer

Hamad International Airport, Doha: Largest Building in Doha

The airport, built on reclaimed land is situated amidst a spectacular man-made lagoon, well-manicured gardens and a natural bay. The airport is about a third of the size of Doha, with a 600,000 square metre and four-stories-high Passenger Terminal Complex, which equates to 75 soccer fields. Presently, the airport has the capacity to handle 8,700 passengers per hour, more than 30 million passengers a year, and is undergoing further expansion to accommodate more than 50 million passengers. HIA has two parallel runways, among the longest in the world, designed to cater to next-generation aircrafts including the Airbus A380.

Hamad International Airport, Doha: Eco-Friendly Airport

All wastewater from this airport is recycled. The treated water is used to irrigate the lawns around the building. HIA is designed and built to conserve energy required for keeping the temperature cool. The walls of the passenger terminal are coated with solar reflective material, and the ceiling is insulated and designed with overhang shading.

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