Beijing Daxing International Airport by ZHA takes off in China
Being one of the world's fastest-growing transport hubs, due to the increasing demand for travel in the region, Beijing has just launched a brand new airport in a bid to expand its capacity and highlight its design credentials in a single move. Located a mere 20 minutes from central Beijing, the new Beijing Daxing International Airport, deigned by Zaha Hadid Architects has now been inaugurated by Chinese president Xi Jinping.
ZHA organised the airport around a central courtyard space, as a series of interconnected wings that send passengers through the necessary zones towards their gate of departure. This flowing internal arrangement is reflected in the similarly flowing architecture, which is defined by ZHA's signature dynamic shapes and soft but dramatic lines. Meanwhile the grand courtyard at its heart acts as a multi-layered meeting space, containing a wealth of passenger services and amenities.
The expansive structure's white, vaulted roof ensures both structural flexibility and integrity, but also allows plenty of natural light in, while providing a sculptural feature as visitors walk across the different areas towards their destination. At the same time, five piers radiate from the central hub allowing a maximum number of aircrafts to be parked directly at the terminal to minimise distances for the passengers' convenience.
Striking looks are matched by green credentials in this design, with photovoltaic power generation systems installed throughout the airport, centralised heating with waste heat recovery and rainwater collection, and a water management system. This helps ‘prevent flooding and counter the summer ‘heat island’ effect on the local microclimate', explain the architects.
This airport was designed to alleviate congestion at Beijing's existing international airport - but it also set to create a thrilling spatial experience for the architecture enthusiasts, and not only.
Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).
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