Hajj Terminal Wins AIA 25 Year Award

Hajj Terminal.

Special Report from the AIA National Convention
Friday, June 11, 2010

Hajj Terminal at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, completed in 1981 by Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), received the 2010 AIA 25 Year Award this morning. It is the second transportation building to win in the award’s 42-year history.

“The building combines a modern need with an ancient sensibility,” said Richard Maimon, AIA, a principal at Kieran Timberlake and a juror for the nominating AIA Committee on Design. He noted that Hajj Terminal’s contribution to the airport, as a transportation gateway to the region, as well as its role for pilgrims, as a gateway to Mecca, set it apart from the other 12 submissions to the 25 Year Award category in the AIA’s Institute Honors program. While jurors typically visit the nominated projects each year, scheduling conflicts forced the Committee on Design to rely on a two-year-old building assessment to review Hajj Terminal. A recent e-mail from the airport’s building manager confirmed that the structure continues to function according to its original intent and that it remains in good condition, which are two important criteria for nominated buildings to fulfill.

Past recipients of the 25 Year Award have included Rockefeller Center (1969), Taliesin West (1973), the Farnsworth House (1981), the Salk Institute for Biological Research (1992), and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art (2004).

William Richards

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