Beijing – It took less than a year – and over $61 billion – to build the 700,000 m² giant passenger terminal of the Beijing Daxing International Airport by Zaha Hadid Architects which was designed to accomodate 100 million passengers and 4 million tonnes of cargo annually following further expansion.
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“The project sets a new standard in air transport services, serving the region’s growing population within a compact, scalable and efficient passenger terminal,” explain at Zaha Hadid Architects. An 80,000 m² ground transportation centre offers direct connections be triggering economic development to Beijing as well as Tianjin and Hebei Provinces.
Echoing principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organise interconnected spaces around a central courtyard, the starfish-shaped terminal’s design “guides all passengers seamlessly through the relevant departure, arrival or transfer zones towards the grand courtyard at its centre designed as 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”.
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. “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 its local microclimate.
All photos by ©Hufton+Crow – courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects.