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Sat December 07 2019

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Foster lands design of Red Sea airport

31 Oct Foster & Partners has won the contract to design an international airport to serve a major tourist resort being developed along Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast.

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the project, has awarded the design contract to Foster and its engineering subconsultant WSP following a competitive tender process.

“Awarding the contract for the design of our airport is an important milestone and the first of the underlying infrastructure projects of the destination” said TRSDC chief executive officer John Pagano. “Foster & Partners and their engineering subconsultant, WSP Global, have demonstrated their ability to deliver projects in line with world-class development and our sustainability standards. We look forward to collaborating with them to develop an innovative design that will enhance the visitor experience, meet our sustainability goals and enable us to deliver an airport for the future.”

TRSDC estimates that the airport, which is due for completion in 2022, will serve a million tourists a year with a schedule of domestic and international flights. The project's masterplan was approved in January.

Foster & Partners head of studio Gerard Evenden said: “The Red Sea Airport has been envisaged as a gateway to one of the most unique resorts in the world and an integral part of the visitor experience. Inspired by the colours and textures of the desert landscape, the design seeks to create a calm and luxurious journey through the terminal and will become a transit hub for visitors coming in by both land and air. We look forward to working with the Red Sea Development Company to fulfil the vision for this ambitious one-of-a-kind project.”

TRSDC chief project delivery officer Ian Williamson said: “The airport will be a cutting-edge facility providing a unique experience for our visitors. Smart technology will play a vital role in the development of the airport and it was key for us to work with a company who could assemble a team with the skills to ensure the airport would be smart by design.

“The airport will be the visitor’s first experience of the destination. We aim to deliver a seamless landing experience which immerses our guests in the destination from the moment they arrive.”

In addition to the dedicated airport, the first phase of the development will include up to 14 hotels offering 3,000 hotel rooms across five islands and two inland sites, as well as commercial, retail and leisure facilities and other infrastructure.

Upon completion in 2030, the resort will have up to 8,000 hotel rooms across 22 islands and six inland sites.  

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