Could the Kuwait International Airport (Terminal 2) herald the start of the next generation of airports?
The international airport of Kuwait is currently being extended by a new terminal building designed by Foster + Partner. It has an edge length of almost 1.2 km, a clear height of up to 25 m and a roof area of 320,000 m². The building is characterized not only by its size, but also by the complexity of its roof structure. Despite its large circumference, the roof had to be designed without expansion joints. This had extensive effects on the design and calculation of all components. The roof structure is a statically highly indeterminate system. The interaction between the various components is therefore very complex, so that any change in stiffness of an element has a significant influence on the static load of the other components. The sophisticated design was made feasible with the help of complex digital methods and tools.
Prof. Dr. Lucio Blandini (Managing Director and Partner at Werner Sobek) weighs in on the challenges over the course of the Engineering and Fabrication of the Complex Parametric Structure of the Kuwait International Airport. He further elaborates that the sophisticated design of Kuwait’s International Airport demanded a high level of precision regarding the interaction of complex digital tools, methods, and constructional engineering.
Due to its size with a considerable edge length of nearly 1,2km, a height of almost 25m, extending to a roof area of 320,000 m2 , the Airport was bound not only to overcome economic constraints, but also ecological constraints in a set time frame without compromising on competitiveness on the market and feasibility.
The new terminal which has been designed by Foster + Partner is set for completion by 2022.
Architecture: Foster + Partners, London/Great Britain
Planning time: 2016 − 2020
Construction time: since 2017
Services by Werner Sobek: Structural engineering of the main structure (including construction documents and concrete shop drawings), Facade engineering, BIM (LOD400 modelling of structure and facade components)
Client: Ministry of Public Works, Kuwait
Werner Sobek is internationally synonymous with engineering, design, and sustainability. Our company is active across the globe and is home to more than 350 employees. Our staff originates from more than 40 countries and speaks just as many languages. We work on all kinds of structures and materials. We particu-larly pride ourselves on the sophisticated designs we develop for load-bearing structures, technical building services, and facades. Our aim is to create a built environment that is breathtakingly beautiful while also serving the interests of future generations. We want to make emissions-free structures for more people with less material by producing exceptional designs, innovative structural solutions, and holistic concepts that minimise our impact on the environment.
Werner Sobek collaborates with leading architects such as Christoph Ingenhoven, Barkow Leibinger, Henn, Helmut Jahn, Populous, Sauerbruch Hutton, Ole Scheeren, UNStudio, and Zaha Hadid Architects. We support architects, commissioning clients, contractors, and property developers at every stage of the construction process, ranging from the very first conceptual deliberations right through to execution planning and on-site quality assurance. Our interdisciplinary team also develops unique concepts that draw on our core competencies of engineering, design, and sustainability to create optimal, integrated solutions for a wide spectrum of structures, including specialist projects such as trade fair stands, smaller experimental buildings, and lightweight building envelopes and roofs.
Conception & Editing: Frank Heinlein
Camera & Cutting: Paul Levin Rohde
Photos & Renderings: Foster + Partners, London; Limak, Ankara; Werner Sobek, Stuttgart