Twelve major applications at Muscat International Airport
The reconstruction of Muscat International Airport builds on transparency and understated elegance. Metal fabric from GKD – Gebr Kufferath AG plays a key role. Used in a total of 12 different applications, including three spectacular transparent media façades in an unprecedented implementation, the refined texture lends the passenger terminal, which was opened in March, a distinctive look.
In the south-east of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman has developed into a modern state, which is considered the safest country in the Middle East. The extension of Muscat International Airport meets the needs of its associated growth as an attractive destination for business and leisure travel. Each year, the number of passengers increases by 10 per cent, with 20 million travellers expected in 2020.
The new building, designed by the Danish architecture firm COWI/LARSEN, combines ultramodern technology with understated elegance. Instead of overt showiness, the construction builds on a modern interior of steel and marble with discreet accents in gold and subtle hints of Oman traditions. A total of 5,865m² of metal fabric from GKD makes a significant contribution to the overall effect of the new building.
Whether as grid ceilings on the arrivals level above the rental car area as well as at the transitions to the north and south pier or as large-format wall hangings on the retail level, the discreet shimmer of the metallic texture is a real eye-catcher. The oversize baggage claim area has been made into a securely partitioned yet attractive area thanks to ceiling-high room dividers of metal fabric with integrated sliding door.
The effect of this fabric type is reminiscent of the delicate Mandarin bronze fabric
At the immigration counters, projecting roofs made of 52 fabric panels in a tightly packed arrangement create a representative welcome area. The course of the escalators from the arrival level to the departure level and on to the hotel follows the curve of freely suspended, almost 13m-long panels of stainless-steel fabric.
Perhaps the largest and most spectacular use of fabric is the 210 panels shimmering in soft gold tones, created from a custom fabric developed specially for the airport, which form semi-transparent baldachins above the moving walkways. The effect of this fabric type is reminiscent of the delicate Mandarin bronze fabric, combining its fine appearance and low weight with the required robustness.
The three gigantic, transparent media façades are the crowning glory of the extensive use of GKD metal fabric: In the baggage claim area on the arrivals level, a 15m-wide and over 4m-tall MEDIAMESH® screen impressively demonstrates the balance between brilliant image quality and transparency. The main feature of this fabric type is the integrated LED lighting. At passport control, an 8.5m-high, 15m-wide screen of ILLUMESH® forms the partition wall to the first wing.
This system draws its fascinating impact from the LED lighting mounted on special brackets in front of the fabric. The play of colours that it projects on to the round stainless-steel wires is reflected as a three-dimensional hologram effect. This illumination of alternating colour compositions gives the wall the appearance of a constantly changing work of art.
Both systems – fabric with integrated LED lighting and fabric with LED projection – are united to form a huge mixed media screen at the gateway through to the retail area. Segments of ILLUMESH®, 14.3m-tall and 27m-wide, create a coloured frame for a 15m-wide MEDIAMESH® screen. The five central panels of this unprecedented implementation of a mixed media screen are made of 10m of ILLUMESH® in the top section, which transitions apparently seamlessly into the MEDIAMESH® screen. For maximum ease of maintenance and spare part efficiency, the same LED lighting is used in all three media façades at the airport.