As the title asks, what is this thing for? Have never seen anything like it at other airports I've been to.

enter image description here

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Is it just for decorative purposes by any chance? $\endgroup$
    – dalearn
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 15:41
  • 17
    $\begingroup$ It's probably some insane technology hiding in plain sight. That would be soooo Israel... $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 3:28
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Totally just a decoration. Fire at will, commander. $\endgroup$
    – void_ptr
    Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 19:44
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It would be a great place for an endurance bike race, "The Long Walk" style. If you're too slow, you fall from the velodrome, down into a pit. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ Skate rink, of course! $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 0:11

3 Answers 3


It is just a design feature, and serves no technical purpose, beyond filtering some light and providing a waterfall feature.

Safdie designed the roof of the rotunda as an inverted dome, an asymmetric dish floating above the piazza that lets sunlight in and filters the daylight with a special white fabric ceiling.
source: https://www.bdcnetwork.com/ready-takeoff


Rain falling upon the suspended dome drains towards the center and enters the rotunda through an oculus skylight as a waterfall. In the dry season, a continuous flow of water washes the roof, contributing to the rotunda’s cooling and forming a fountain through the oculus.
source: https://www.safdiearchitects.com/projects/ben-gurion-intl-airport-airside-terminal

Image, because it looks nice (Same source as second quote above)

enter image description here

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ "that lets sunlight in and filters the daylight with a special white fabric ceiling" well that is a technical purpose, won't you agree? $\endgroup$
    – DeepSpace
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 21:07
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @DeepSpace That seems to be the purpose of the 'special white fabric ceiling', not the dome design itself $\endgroup$
    – Rob
    Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 2:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Rob: But still the dish serves a technical purpose just like any other possible roof for the building. The question could have been simply answered by: The dish serves as roof for the building ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Curd
    Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 16:46

It's Architecture [sic], and it's for your eyes to behold:

Safdie architects explain further.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Why did you write [sic]? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 19:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Because this is architecture with a capital letter :) $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 6:26

This is the decorative roof above the duty-free area, which is circular with a plaza in its center. From the top center and around the "sun roof" there a circular waterfall.


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