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Airport terminal, Groupe3, Guelmim

Colours of the desert: Airport terminal in Guelmim

The provincial capital of Guelmim with its 120,000 inhabitants is located deep in the south of Morocco, far away from the popular tourist destinations of Marrakech and Agadir and even further from Rabat and Casablanca, the administrative centres of the country. Only a limited number of passengers use the local airport, which accordingly makes do with one runway only.  The size of the new airport terminal designed by Groupe3Architectes of Rabat is likewise of manageable proportions – a fact that presented the planners a design challenge. To lend their new building a greater presence in the vast desert plain with its mountain chains, the architects took inspiration from the principles of land art and designed the building as a speck of colour in the landscape.

The terminal consists of two fully glazed halls – a departure hall and an arrival hall – both overarched by a trussed steel construction with a 21 metre span. A considerably lower service zone with a roof terrace shaded by white sunsails is located between the two.

The terminal's expansive glazed surfaces also had to be protected from the scorching desert sun. Rectangular panels of perforated metal, mounted on a steel structure suspended from the projecting roof, serve this purpose. These sun baffles vary in colour from red to brown and ochre hues from top to bottom, with the metal elements evoking almost the complete spectrum of desert colours. In their colouration and the patterning of the perforations, they also allude to regional crafts motifs, as the architects state.

Further information:

Lanscape architects: Atelier Bertrand Houin

Further articles to the issue DETAIL 4/2019 are available here.

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