In the Algier airport of the capital city of Algiers the existing airport business centre is going to be expanded with the ABC-Tower. The office of Gerd Priebe Architects and Consultants were contracted to undertake the design studies and have developed an elegant building structure that has a clear relationship to the existing city planning and is simultaneously a deliberate independent expression.
The international airport „Houari Boumediene”, which is roughly 20 kilometres from the centre of Algiers, is considered, after its recently completed modernisation in 2006, to be the most modern airport in North Africa. As an addition to the existing airport business centre the area will profit from this unique architectural signal. For the tight building site gpac have developed a tower that consists of two elegant building structures whose dynamic form can be read as being a direct response to the start and landing process of the airport site and the adjacent city highway.
The scalene triangle motif
The unusual plan form of the new building has been developed out of the principle motive of a scalene triangle. Above the triangular cut common plinth area a 12-floor high building structure climbs to the north and a 13-floor building structure to the south. In a third independent volume gpac integrated an elegantly curved canopy above the main entrance. One finds the sculptural and organic design language used subsequently throughout the building as a design motif – for example in the roof design that has been developed to end the ensemble over the 12th and 13th floor, whose design follows also the idea of curved plains.
The external form of the new building is greatly characterised by its continuous glass façade, offering different levels of transparency, and its elegant form. On the north side of the ABC towers the interplay between sun protection elements and a large area of stretched textile give the building a distinctive character and an exceptional feeling of depth. When the sun protection elements are withdrawn one has an open view of the different floors and the imposing stairways in the core of both building structures which express the dynamic vertical character of the new building.
An overall impression of harmony
The high quality character of the new building with its individual form and the harmoniously proportioned expansive form is set forth seamlessly in the interior space. The first impression when entering the building is asserted above all by the bright entrance hall with its three levels and its diverse uses. In fact all the other areas are characterised by generosity of space, transparency and a clear orientation. To achieve a comfortable working atmosphere and to reduce the energy costs for climatic control in the rooms the external wall area on the south side is reduced to the minimal. Instead the largest area is on the shadowy north side where the guests on the higher floors have an open view, when clear weather prevails, to the Mediterranean Sea roughly 15 kilometres in the distance.
Architectural-technical overall planning, infrastructural development, concept of development