The Hajj Terminal at King Abjul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, design by the Chicago and New York offices of SOM, received the 2010 AIA 25-Year Award. A fusion of vernacular architecture and contemporary structural innovation, the Hajj Terminal is a vast field of PTFE-coated fiberglass conical fabric roofs held up by 45m-tall steel pylons and cables. At the time of its completion in 1981, it was the world’s largest cable-stayed fabric roof structure covering 252,000m2 and a site of 48hectares.
The terminal is designed to use natural breezes to ventilate and cool the space, keeping temperatures near 44°C [80°F] while outside temperatures can reach as high as 83°C [150°F]. SOM, with structural design by Geiger Berger Assoc., designed the terminal to handle 80,000 people in 36 hours.