Terminal 5, KKIA

Enabling the Design of an Elegant but Repetitive Structure

The existing terminal complex, dating from 1983, has become heavily overused as air traffic to the airport has grown substantially, particularly in recent years. Current security requirements are also difficult to accommodate within the existing buildings. A major expansion of the existing terminal buildings is planned but to enable it to take place a proportion of the traffic has to be decanted into new facilities during the works.

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This gave rise to an unusual brief for Terminal 5, a brand new facility to be built on vacant land to the north of the existing complex: to be designed and delivered in 18 months, to cater exclusively to domestic flights for two years with a busy hour or 1,600 passengers each way and then be converted without construction work to cater exclusively to international flights with a similar busy hour capacity.

Woods Bagot were commissioned by Joannou and Paraskevaides to undertake facility planning and terminal design in support for their design and build tender for the project. Within a very tight bidding timescale a full programme of requirements and stand analysis was undertaken enabling the design of an elegant but repetitive structure with the majority of passenger areas on a single floor plate folded to follow the topography. A hexagonal roof structure carried references to the design of the existing terminal complex and careful attention was paid to day lighting and solar shading to provide energy efficiency. A garden in the center of the building echoed traditional Arabic practice and improved the experience of security screening and inbound passport control.


General Authority of Civil Aviation, KSA




Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Completion Date



100,000 square meters