New York-based architects Kohn Pederson Fox’s plans for the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Complex are futuristic in concept and in structure. As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the airport must be built to accommodate at least 30 million passengers a year, more than 200,000 travelers each day. The sleek, silvery building is shaped like an X. Terminals comprise the building’s swooping phalanges while the center of the complex welcomes departing and arriving passengers with a lightweight, open space complete with 28,000 square meters of retail and restaurant space, an indoor garden, and a public art gallery. Pictured above is the Departure Hall, a 50-meter-high space bolstered by rows leaning arches instead of columns. The structure’s "civic nature" is intentional—the airport is an integral part of the city’s 2030 plan to transform itself into the "Garden of the Gulf."
The airport's modern appearance is matched by modern environmental technology. The complex will include measures for reducing the use of potable water by employing dry climate landscaping, which includes measures for irrigating the onsite vegetation with grey water and waste. The roof of the structure sinks down along the outer edges of the X to make efficient use of natural daylight in order to reduce energy. The complex will be built using large aluminum plating and high performance sheet glass for thermal efficiency.