Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia
Responding to turbulent national and international conditions, global security was a key design element for the academic, training and support facilities at the King Khalid Air Base (KKAB) in Saudi Arabia. The base is operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force and is located near the city of Khamis Mushayt, approximately 550 miles south of the capital, Riyadh. Modern upgrades to the KKAB were needed to transform a once dysfunctional site into a secure, relevant, and livable campus-type setting. The project consisted of the design-build delivery of the new King Khalid Training Center (KKTC), which includes a maintenance training facility, headquarters and administration facility, dining facility, four dormitories, a Mosque, an avionics/pod facility and a student center. The facility also features a renovated athletic track and field, paved pedestrian parking with sunshades, and a new parade ground with viewing stands.
From initial topographic surveying through concept level design and construction, the Michael Baker team collaborated with a multitude of stakeholders across several countries to combine seamless global security with conscientious recognition of Middle Eastern architectural design features. Ever-present priorities included making significant cultural considerations, relying on local resources, and using foreign construction methods to achieve success.
Our team provided comprehensive site design services for the project. The site design included the development of an overall site plan, including roadway areas, airfield improvements, parking and main plaza space, parade grounds, full utility services and extensive grading and stormwater design. The site design created a walled campus with instructional spaces, administration buildings, dining facilities as well dormitories and ancillary functions. A pedestrian passage links the various spaces and meets at a main plaza at the heart of the campus.
This innovative design-build project provides a state-of-the-art complex that advances education and practice development for the Saudi Air Force F-15 Program, while emboldening safety and inducing national and global pride. Moreover, it serves as a viable template for similar large-scale international projects by redefining current engineering assumptions regarding structures, materials, aesthetics and users.
“As lead designer, our team met tight deadlines and took special care to design each facility and site element around the client’s vision to blend local customs, practices and traditions to create a cohesive design that reflects the beauty and power of Middle Eastern architecture.”
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