Khabarovsk Airport

A passenger terminal in the shape of a dome
  • aviation

Khabarovsk Airport is situated on the border between Russia and China, and its new sustainable passenger terminal was conceived and executed by Paul de Ruiter Architects in collaboration with Deerns engineering consultancy. Weather conditions in this region are quite harsh, defined as they are by fairly hot summers and punishingly cold winters. With this in mind, we decided to enclose the terminal in a lightweight dome of EFTE foil cushions. The new terminal replaces the previously existing buildings and combines all of the airport’s facilities under one roof, thereby allowing passengers and airport staff to access every part of the airport without having to brave the cold or heat.

Khabarovsk 2

Energy-saving form

One of our key objectives was to facilitate heating and cooling by natural means, thereby minimising energy consumption. Domes offer unparalleled levels of energy-efficiency, as they enclose the greatest volume of interior space with the least amount of surface area and operate like a downward reflector, concentrating the interior heat and thereby preventing radiant heat loss.

This particular dome actually comprises two layers of ETFE foil cushions, which trap the air rising from below, creating an insulated skin of warm air around the building. Excess heat from this layer is stored in the ground in the summertime and used to heat the ventilated fresh air in winter.

The EFTE cushions, given their transparency, admit an abundance of daylight, with corresponding favourable effects on the health and well-being of passengers and airport staff.

Flexible, future-proof design

The facilities for the operation of national and international flights have been placed close together, keeping walking distances between the two as short as possible so that airport staff can work efficiently. The security layers operate between floors, making an open-plan layout viable on each floor. This, in turn, allows the terminal to be adapted as required in response to changing national and international air traffic volume.

Project details


Gross floor area 32,000 m2 terminal for domestic flights, 16,000 m2 terminal international flights, 17,500 m2 technical and support facilities
Program Energy-efficient passenger terminal
Start design October 2013

Project Team

Client Krasnodar International Airport
Tender team Paul de Ruiter, Roel Rutgers
Adv. engineering Deerns engineering consultancy