A unique combination of the traditional and the modern, Queen Alia International Airport epitomises the soul of Amman, a modern, cosmopolitan city and one of the oldest gems in human history. The design was inspired by local architecture and tradition. The whole project aims to celebrate Bedouin tradition and culture: from the convex roof, reminiscent of the local architecture and of the billowing black fabric of a tent, to the geometric designs applied on every intrados on show and the tree-filled courtyards. The squares aren’t there just in honour of the Bedouin custom of gathering at the airport in large groups to see off loved ones, but are also a natural way of filtering pollution and pre-conditioning the air with plants and trees. As a result of Amman’s climate, the high-tech building was built mainly using concrete, a material which helps with natural regulation of the interior temperature, reducing energy consumption.
The design makes the best possible use of daylight and highlights the colours and shades of the surrounding countryside so as to avoid an artificial effect. From the terminals, endless views of the desert and the daylight streaming into the atrium give passengers waiting to board a relaxing experience, whilst those who have just landed are guaranteed a first glance of the country from a wonderfully integrated position. To maximise the natural effect, integration with the context and the sense of openness, light plays a central role in the design. iGuzzini UK worked closely with Foster+Partners to light the main departures floor, inside and out. 150W HIT MaxiWoody spotlights were fitted in openings in the skylights, pointing down to give 200 lux of very even lighting on the ground below. The sinuous roof was a challenge to light. At night, the departures hall looks very different to its daytime appearance.
The problem was finding the right positions to fit the lamps for indirect lighting, so that each would bathe the ceiling vaults in the same level of light, for a uniform overall look to the departures hall. A series of 70 and 150W HIT iGuzzini iPro asymmetric flood lights were mounted on top of retail cabins, within signage totems and also on top of the check-in desk structures. These limited locations provided the design team with a real challenge in terms of delivering a consistent lit effect. The layout of the lamps installed in the departures building was also replicated in the two
wings alongside the main structure, and outside, where the vaults cover the stopping area in front of the main terminal building. Queen Alia International Airport is an excellent example of cooperation and teamwork between the international network and the company, since the project was completed with the help of iGuzzini Middle East, the regional branch which supplied all on-site support and guidance to make luminaire installation easier.
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