Ben Gurion International Airport - Airside Terminal
Project Title
Ben Gurion International Airport - Airside Terminal
Alternate Titles
Ben Gurion Airport
This new airport serves as Israel’s principal gateway and represents the country’s most optimistic aspirations. A landside complex accommodates ticketing, customs, immigration, and baggage claim; Safdie’s airside complex includes a glazed connector and rotunda accommodating food, retail facilities, and passenger services, with concourses radiating outwards to landing gates.

More than 16 million passengers per year travel through this entry to the nation, which is expressed in a clean palette of glass, warm stone, and metal. Departing passengers check in and descend through the connector into the rotunda, then down the concourses to their gates. Arriving passengers ascend through bridges at the gates to a mezzanine level that overlooks the concourses and the rotunda, then descend toward passport control through the connector.

Traversed by arriving and departing visitors, the glass-enclosed scissor-shaped ramps dramatize the ideal of open borders and serve as a ceremonial gateway in both directions.

The airport’s rotunda features an inverted dome pierced by an oculus through which a waterfall flows. Falling rain drains toward the dome’s center, entering the rotunda through the oculus. In the dry season, a continuous flow of water washes the roof, helping to cool the rotunda and create a fountain through the oculus.

Images on this page: 1 Interior photo; 2 Site plan; 3 Section; 4 Section; 5 Section sketch

Tel Aviv, Israel

between 1995 and 2004
Completion Date
Client: Israeli Airport Authority;

Size: 168,000 sq m (1,808,336 sq ft)

Cost: US $250 million;

Project Type
Safdie Architects
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