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Hufton + Crow, Amir Mann – Moshe Zur – Ami Shinar – Orna Zur Architects, Airport

Trees in the Desert: Ramon Airport in Eilat

It is 18 kilometres from the new Ramon Airport to the spa town of Eilat, located at the southern tip of Israel. The airport, which was inaugurated in 2019, will replace two older nearby airports, including the municipal airport in the centre of Eilat.

The new building, which stands in the Negev Desert, allowed Amir Mann - Moshe Zur - Ami Shinar - Orna Zur Architects to carry out a large-scale project from scratch. The only limiting factors were a highway to the west and the Jordanian border just east of the airport grounds. The main building is based on the geometry of a compact cube whose façades lean outwards to provide more shade. Recesses and cut-outs mark the entrances and exits. Moreover, two inner courtyards planted with regional desert vegetation divide the volumes.

Inside, eye-catching steel tree columns support the slightly folded roof, which is made of a steel girder grid. The exterior of the roof is clad with triangular aluminum composite panelling; the interior is covered with bamboo. The transparent façades were conceived as a ventilated, double-shell construction of glass. A photovoltaic system measuring around 8 hectares that has been installed on the grounds make the terminal into a zero-energy building. All the waste water from the airport is reused.

The appearance and material palette of the terminal continue in the airport tower and the adjacent buildings, which were also designed by Amir Mann - Moshe Zur - Ami Shinar - Orna Zur Architects. Ramon Airport is named for an Israeli astronaut who lost his life in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. The terminal will start with a capacity of 2 million passengers a year. By 2030, management would like this to increase to 4.2 million.

Further information:

Construction site management: Ron Havazelet, Gadish-Baran Partnership
Airport technics: Arup

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