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60+ Years of Design + Innovation

Building on the Legacy of Riyadh’s Airport Hub

King Khalid International Airport Expansion
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Original King Khalid International Airport designed by HOK in the 1980s

Original King Khalid International Airport designed by HOK in the 1980s

Thirty years after designing King Khalid International Airport (KKIA), HOK is the design team leader for the expansion of Terminals 3 and 4.

This expansion will enable the airport to meet increasing demand and support the country’s growing economy. As with the original airport, the design creates a strong sense of place and a passenger-friendly terminal welcoming each traveler as an important guest to Riyadh.

When HOK designed the four terminal buildings in the 1980s, one was left as an empty building shell. The design brief for the current project was to integrate and extend Terminals 3 and 4 as an infill development that complements and enhances the existing airport while accommodating 17.5 million passengers per year. The project also introduces a central processor building and three new piers with 24 gates.

The integrated design solution responds to Riyadh’s culture while providing memorable spaces. The hexagonal roof form and triangular organization of the original buildings guided the design. By basing the plan on the original module size, the team designed a seamless intervention with no clear distinction between old and new.

Sustainable strategies include replacing the existing terminals’ external cladding with a high-performance facade system and upgrading infrastructure with two new energy centers.

An integrated BIM strategy allows the entire design team to rationalize and coordinate the process throughout construction. The facilities are being refurbished in two phases to allow the existing airport operations to function at capacity during construction.


LEED-NC Silver anticipated


3.06 million sq. ft. / 284,200 sq. m.
24 gates


Facility Programming
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Terminal Design
Terminal Planning


1 January 2014
“Status Symbol”
Passenger Terminal World

1 March 2013
“King Khalid Airport Design: Iconic and Timeless”
Passenger Terminal World

19 January 2013
“NACO and HOK Win Expansion Contract for Riyadh Airport”