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Zaha Hadid Architects’ Completes Beijing’s New Airport Building

Zaha Hadid Architects’ latest creation, the Beijing Daxing International Airport is a new airport in the Daxing district 46km south of the city centre and was recently opened to the public.

Zaha Hadid Architects completed its five-winged terminal building at Beijing Daxing International Airport, touted to be one of the largest airports in the world. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid and studio principal Patrik Schumacher, along with airport specialist ADPI, the 700,000-square-metre terminal to serve as the transport hub for the region has been designed to be as compact as possible.

The airport is arranged around a central courtyard with five aircraft piers radiating directly out to give the building the appearance of a starfish from above.

According to the design firm, this airport has been developed to alleviate congestion at the capital’s existing airport.

Beijing Daxing will be a major transport hub for the region with the world’s fastest growing demand for international travel and is fully integrated within the country’s expanding transport network.   Initially serving 45 million passengers per year, Beijing Daxing will accommodate 72 million travellers by 2025 and is planned for further expansion to serve up to 100 million passengers and 4 million tonnes of cargo annually,” explains Zaha Hadid Architects.

The passenger terminal includes an 80,000-square-metre-ground transportation centre offering direct connections to Beijing, the national high-speed rail network and local train services, providing a catalyst for economic development in Tianjin and Hebei Province.

Echoing principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organise interconnected spaces around a central courtyard, the terminal’s design guides all passengers seamlessly through the relevant departure, arrival or transfer zones towards the grand courtyard at its centre – a multi-layered meeting space at the heart of the terminal.

Six flowing forms within the terminal’s vaulted roof reach to the ground to support the structure and bring natural light within, directing all passengers towards the central courtyard. Natural light also enters the terminal via a network of linear skylights that provide an intuitive system of navigation throughout the building, guiding passengers to and from their departure gates.   Structural spans of up to 100 metre create the terminal’s generous public spaces and allow the highest degree of flexibility for any future reconfiguration.

The compact radial design of the terminal allows a maximum number of aircraft to be parked directly at the terminal with minimum distances from the centre of the building, providing exceptional convenience for passengers and flexibility in operations. 79 gates with airbridges connect directly to the terminal which can rapidly process the passengers of six full A380 aircraft simultaneously.

Five aircraft piers radiate directly from the terminal’s main central court where all passenger services and amenities are located, enabling passengers to walk the comparatively short distances through the airport without the need for automated shuttle trains. As a result, the terminal’s compact design minimises distances between check-in and gate, as well as connections between gates for transferring passengers. This radial configuration ensures the farthest boarding gate can be accessed in a walking time of less than 8 minutes.

Photovoltaic power generation is installed throughout the airport to provide a minimum capacity of at least 10MW. Beijing Daxing’s centralised heating with waste heat recovery is supported by a composite ground-source heat pump system incorporating a concentrated energy supply area of nearly 2.5 million m².

The airport also implements rainwater collection and a water management system that employs the natural storage, natural permeation and natural purification of up to 2.8 million cubic meters of water in new wetlands, lakes and streams to prevent flooding and counter the summer ‘heat island’ effect on the local microclimate.

Project Team Beijing Daxing International Airport is the result of an excellent collaboration between dedicated teams of professionals in China and around the world, resulting in a uniquely contemporary building defined by its context and programme.

Beijing Daxing’s terminal was designed by its Joint Design Team (JDT) under the leadership of the Beijing New Airport Headquarters (BNAH), bringing together ADP Ingénierie (ADPI) and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) to collaborate on the optimised design, subsequently working with BIAD (Beijing Institute of Architecture and Design) and CACC (China Airport Construction Company) to deliver the project.

The collaboration between ADPI and Zaha Hadid Architects yielded a new functional layout that is integrated with, and expressed by, the terminal’s fluid architectural language and spatial design.

Within the JDT, ZHA functioned as the Terminal Design Architect, providing a unified architectural language across the terminal, from the exterior forms of the building to the seamless architecture of the interior and the distributed pod planning arrangement for the retail design. ADPI acted as the Terminal Planning Architect for the project, leading the development of the terminal’s functional and technical specifications.

Picture Credit: Hufton+Crow

 

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