Visually Stunning Airport by HOK Uses MEDIAMESH Integrated LED Mesh In Its Interior

December 8, 2015

The Hamad International Airport (HIA) in the capital city Doha, was opened for passengers after a decade of pioneering design, engineering and construction work. Once all work has been completed, up to 50 million passengers and 2.5 million metric tons of freight will to be processed here every year. The strategically important location between east and west makes it an important international hub – two thirds of the world population can reach the airport in less than eight hours. In order to convey the country’s culture, which is equally oriented towards the future and tradition, the HIA places emphasis on an extraordinary design, maximum efficiency when handling passengers and freight, a luxurious atmosphere and sustainability. The sophisticated concept of the HOK architects (Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum) from San Francisco is underlined in the main hall of the duty-free area and in hall C of the main terminal by four large-scale MEDIAMESH® screens made of stainless steel fabric with integrated LED profiles, which were developed and produced by GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG in Düren, Germany.

Qatar is aiming to gradually replace its previous dependency on petrochemical revenue with culture and knowledge-based economic growth. Prestigious new university buildings housing branches of elite international institutions that attract students from all over the world to the peninsula on the Arabian Gulf show the way ahead, as do the efforts to become a venue for major sporting events. As part of the National Vision 2030, Hamad International Airport is an important factor driving the development of the state’s new self-image.

The incredible dynamics of this colossal airport are conveyed by global design firm HOK’s architectural design. The sweeping glass roof of the main terminal evokes an ebbing wave stretching from the entrance hall towards the runway. Furthermore, the façades of the Emiri Terminal, built specially for important state visitors, resemble a fleet of sailing boats, and the glass front of the airport’s own mosque recreates the form of a water droplet. The different levels of the spacious, multi-story duty-free area are arranged in the style of a gallery. Alongside luxury shopping and culinary delights of all kinds, two large MEDIAMESH® screens each measuring over 2,831 square feet underline the exclusivity of the heavily frequented place, manufactured and installed by GKD.

The visual lightness of the large-scale screens and the brilliant colors of the displayed media were central arguments for the planners in selecting this solution. Manufactured from Tigris stainless steel fabric with integrated LED profiles, they impress with their intricate transparency, high-quality appearance and invisible cabling. Each made up of six seamlessly joined fabric panels; the transparent displays flank the main hall, high over the heads the airport visitors. The woven construction offers users of the First Class Lounge behind it an unhindered view of the airport hall and on the other side a clear view from the rooms of the terminal hotel. With six bright LEDs per pixel, the screens guarantee brilliant image quality across their entire length of 73.5 feet and height of 38.7 feet, even when the hall is flooded by daylight. This makes the shimmering metallic fabric a fascinating advertising platform for luxury goods from all over the world.

As a full-service provider of transparent media systems, GKD also took over responsibility for the mounting of the screens. A particular challenge for the specialists from Düren was fixing the substructure to the specified attachment points on the glass façade behind it. In order to maintain the intricate overall feel of the MEDIAMESH® screens, the fabric panels were fixed to the frame structure using patented Fusiomesh NG fastening technology.

However, the outstanding design and excellent function were not the sole focus for the planners from HOK: environmental friendliness was also a key factor when selecting all materials and solutions employed in order to keep the ecological footprint of the overall system as small as possible. With significantly lower power consumption than conventional displays, the MEDIAMESH® screens make a significant contribution to this. Alongside energy efficiency, the low-maintenance system is also sustainable with regard to the material used, as the stainless steel fabric is fully recyclable at the end of its service life. That’s why this extraordinarily broad range of functions offered by the fabric system is also utilized in hall C of HIA: here, two other MEDIAMESH® screens, which are wider, but have a slightly smaller overall area at 2,346 square feet, also set truly monumental standards in the land of luxury shopping and thereby underline the sophisticated design of the terminal.

Photography ©Hamad International Airport/GKD/Thomas Holtkötter