Some time ago, we pointed out China’s fast-paced growth which encouraged renowned Chinese architects to design unconventional yet striking buildings across the nation. Most are already completed, while the rest are actively in development. Another region where avant-garde architecture is becoming mainstream is the Middle East where you can marvel at the beauty of Zayed International Airport’s Terminal A.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the wealthiest countries in the world thanks to their abundant oil reserves. As such, their leaders have almost unlimited resources to spend on new infrastructure or revamp existing ones to meet or even surpass modern standards.

The portal which was cosmetically overhauled is a part of Abu Dhabi International Airport (before the latter was renamed to Zayed International Airport). This major undertaking was awarded to Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) and the results tell us it was an excellent decision to do so.

From afar, Terminal A touts a beautiful curvature inspired by the towering dunes of the desert. Its majestic silhouette can be marveled at by anyone who drives along the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway. Meanwhile, travelers bound for the airport are met with a 164-foot glass-clad facade upon entry.

KPF wanted to impart a feeling of being in an open area as the Departure Hall spans a huge area sans any columns. Then there’s the curated lighting which enhances the visual splendor of the interior volumes. Passengers arriving can pass through a sculptural stair named the Feature Staircase.

To further elevate the experience, an art installation called Sana Al Nour will leave a lasting impact on anyone who ventures into Terminal A. Both KPF and Carpenter | Lowings assembled 1,632 curved glass panels into a massive attraction guaranteed to delight those who view it. If your flight takes you to Zayed International Airport, might as well check it out.

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Images courtesy of Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF)/Victor Romero