Rabat-Salé Airport, Morocco

10 October 2013

On the occasion of its refurbishment and extension, the new airport terminal at Rabat-Salé, the administrative capital of Morocco, has been covered in a double skin made of Ductal®, LafargeHolcim's ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC). A first in Africa!


When interior architect Zhor Jaidi-Bensouda was given the task of decorating and refurbishing the interior of Rabat-Salé airport in Morocco, she decided to cover the building with an openwork double skin.

The objective was twofold:

  • to promote clarity and transparency in order to increase the fluidity of the passenger transit areas;
  • to offer a sunshade on the southern façade to prevent the building becoming like a greenhouse.

After a feasibility study carried out with LafargeHolcim engineers, one material stood out in particular for the architect: LafargeHolcim's ultra high performance concrete (UHPC) Ductal®, chosen for the quality of its finish, its whiteness and its compliance with a traditional mashrabiya design, which requires 70% of voids. A material never used before on the African continent!

An extended airport for a better connected capital city

After 4 months of labor, 480m² of Ductal® and 382 precast elements were produced for an unparalleled result!

As well as allowing this double skin to be attached to a glazed façade, our UHPC provided a perfect response to the complex shapes of the panels, some of which measured up to 5.25m x 1.75m. The mashrabiya design of the latticework is reminiscent of the traditional star of Morocco, a country which sees itself as focused on the future - and can now demonstrate its credentials thanks to the modernity of Ductal®. This subtle architectural oxymoron combines the prestige of the Moroccan kingdom with the history of its administrative capital.

Thanks to its refurbishment, Rabat-Salé airport’s terminal 1 tripled its capacity to 1.5 million users a year, travelling to Paris, Madrid, Tripoli, Brussels and other capitals.

Rabat-Salé Airport, Morocco, Ductal