Low Energy Airport Terminal in Southeastern Sahara
Low Energy Airport Terminal in Southeastern Sahara

The aim of this prototype project was to support the economies of Sudan and other regions with similar climate and geographical distances, by enabling faster mobility network for increased population, and by incorporating the socio-economic and culturally driven opportunities into the project program and design. The project is a redevelopment of Toni Yli-Suvanto´s design, created during his master studies at ETH Zürich in Switzerland.

As the events of arrival and departure are of great social significance in the target regions, the airport does not only serve the aviation purposes, but offers a pleasant environment in hot and arid climate for wider social and economic interaction, and a starting point for larger urban structure.

The airport is supplemented by a hotel and residential developments in the north, and a hangar in the south. In this context, the terminal building serves as a community living room, including bazaar zone with retail activities, praying rooms, relaxing and socializing areas with views to the air fields.

In order to meet economic and environmental challenges, passive means are used for the environmental control, and local earth based materials for the construction, where possible. Excess heat by solar radiation is prevented by organizing the building volumes in east-west orientation, and using heat storing walls in north-south orientation. This concept also provides the docking area with protection from the Harmattan winds and sandstorms.

The massing concept takes advantage of dominating seasonal winds allowing for natural cross ventilation. Water, shading and planting is used for cooling and humidifying the incoming dry air, enhanced by the use of ventilation towers. The diurnal humidity and temperature variations are moderated by the massive walls and the ceiling made of compressed earth.

The linear and repetitive structural concept is economically attractive; it allows for simple construction and use of local labor. It also provides the scheme with a simple expansion concept in western direction for the future development.

Location:Sourtheastern Sahara region
Type and Year:Internal research project 2011
Gross Floor Area:10 500 m2
Architecture:Toni Yli-Suvanto Architects
Visualisation:Toni Yli-Suvanto Architects