Terminals that are works of art: Introducing airports with the best designs from around the world


The walled gates of the medieval cities have now turned into airports, a representative way of access of the XXI century. It is the first impression of the destination, perhaps the brand par excellence, and they have also become the calling card of the great metropolises of the world. Here are those that, architecturally, we consider the most impressive.


Paul Andreu has a great reputation within the architectural sector worldwide, as he has been commissioned to design airports such as Charles de Gaulle in Paris, the Soekarno-Hatta in Jakarta and the one in Cairo.

Dubai International Airport is an airport terminal located in the city of Dubai. This airport is the main base of the Emirates airline. Because of the large number of shops at the airport, this place is considered the biggest in duty free sales in the country.

BARAJAS T4 MADRID, ESPAÑA – Design: Estudio Richard Rogers

Designed by Richard Rogers’ architects studio, Terminal 4 is released from the concrete box style with a roof built with corrugated ribs, which earned him the prestigious Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2006. Its surface is very long, but it has a clever design that clearly indicates the gates and the levels of footbridges which were created to reduce traffic in each level. In addition, the T4 Barajas Airport has been awarded by the International RIBA European Awards 2006, and recognized by National Geographic Traveler as “Best architectural design of the world.” Additionally, in 2005 it was selected the best engineering project by the Institute of Engineering of Spain.

MARRAKECH, MARRUECOS – Design: E2A Architecture

E2A Architecture designed this modern terminal in 2008, combining influences of modernism and Islamic architecture while blending them with the old airport buildings. The windows have patterns that evoke the Arab crafts, and waiting rooms have sofas and seats with fabrics typical of the region. It is a spacious enclosure in which a mesh structure with diamond-shaped holes allows sunlight in, bathing the marble floors.


One of the most radical airports worldwide. This terminal has a unique character because it is only enabled during the “Hajj” pilgrimage to Mecca. During this period, which lasts six weeks, it becomes one of the busiest airports in the world. The Hajj Terminal won recognition from the American Institute of Architects as a design that stands the test of time. This airport is made up of white fiber-glass outdoor tents, creaating a chimney effect that allows venting the hot desert air, without using air conditioning. The facility can hold up to 80,000 people, with flexible spaces dedicated to unusual activity in an air terminal, such as the ritual washing of feet.

The airport is literally “the gateway to heaven” for thousands of travelers, as this pilgrimage has a spiritual nature and it is the duty of every Muslim to undertake it at least once in life


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