BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group supports APM Terminals and Maersk in reimagining the shipping industry's future with a master plan for the Aqaba Port Terminal in Jordan, expected by 2040. Considered one of the most strategic ports in the country and an important gateway to the Levant region, the 3 square kilometers plan will merge different strategic approaches at the regional scale, starting from the terminal refurbishment, expansion of the logistics functions, and connecting to the broader port's community and natural environment.
The master plan for Aqaba Port aligns with the global net zero goal for 2030, to which BIG has actively contributed with projects such as the CapitaSpring Tower in Singapore with Carlo Ratti Associati and the recently announced 3d-printed community in Texas, co-designed with ICON.
Historically, ports have been the core of the development of cities, and, more than ever, today's world depends on maritime terminals due to the increasing trading of products and raw materials. Although their crucial role in world and city development, ports also contribute to social inequalities and severe environmental impacts, meaning the loss of habitats and harm to surrounding communities.
Born out of APM Terminal’s ambition to optimize and decarbonize the port and its logistics, the plan aims to once again become the port a center of urban life through sustainable growth and innovation. Considering increasing safety and operational efficiency, APM's approach will be decarbonizing its infrastructure with solar installations and canopies, which allow for zero-emission port functions and reliance on fully electrified cranes, vehicles, and charging stations.
In parallel, BIG will deliver social and economic aspects by designing optimized facilities bringing together agents and shippers to ensure faster goods distribution. By relocating the custom facility closer to the port, the clearance process is optimized and directly linked to nearby logistic facilities - an area where trade opportunities will be offered to the wider economy by connecting with businesses from the area. Local communities can connect with the industry through training centers, recreational spaces, and parks, transforming the grey parts of our cities into green hubs.
Aqaba Container Terminal is an example of how cleaner, quieter and safer infrastructure can create new forms of sustainable urban environments. As an urban planner and landscape architect, the collaboration has been a unique chance to explore the hidden potential behind industrial sites and rethink infrastructure as a catalyst for urban, sustainable transformation. Giulia Frittoli, Partner, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group has already worked on a Plan for the Planet – a masterplan where the firm attempted to plan pragmatically for a sustainable human presence on Earth. Reimagining container ports as hubs for green growth in the future, Bjarke Ingels pointed out, “allowed us to wander well beyond our normal territory and dive head-first into our passion for using architecture and planning to solve large-scale complex challenges.” The framework for the Aqaba Container Terminal in Jordan represents a huge step for sustainability and in rethinking the architectural profession to work in the often-overlooked parts of cities, as Ingles continued, “the plan activate these zones to play a crucial role in the urgent and necessary energy transformation of our society.”
Maersk and APM Terminals' master plan comes along with the recent announcement of constructing 100 3D-printed homes in Texas. In collaboration with the Pioneer in large-scale 3D printing ICON and Lennar, the project aims to support the housing crisis in Austin and serve as a fast, affordable, and low-carbon construction model. BIG & ICON active collaboration in partnership with SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture) has also opened the possibility of bringing additive construction techniques into outer space for NASA's exploration of the Moon,