At the end of last month, it was the long-awaited opening of the Beijing Daxing International Airport designed by Zaha Hadid. The five-storey terminal building is one of the largest airports in the world. It was developed to reduce the abundance of passengers at the capital's existing airport and will be an important connection for regions that have a rapidly growing demand for international travel. A bird's-eye view of the BDIA.
Beijing Daxing International Airport, also called ‘the starfish', was designed in 2008 by the world’s most famous female architect Zaha Hadid. After her death in March 2016, her right hand and director of Zaha Hadid Architects Patrick Schumacher took over the project. In collaboration with ADPI they made the airport building as compact as possible.
The striking terminal was built around a central courtyard with five aircraft piers and thus got its nickname 'starfish' for an obvious reason. From above, the building looks like one. The aircraft piers lead the passengers via the 79 gates directly to their aircraft and seamlessly through the departure, arrival and transfer zones. The most efficient composition to enable large numbers of passengers to reach their aircraft quickly. The airport will serve 45 million passengers per year, but by 2025 it should be able to accommodate up to 100 million passengers.
The terminal serves as the heart of the airport and meeting place.
The design of the airport building follows the traditional Chinese architecture in which the terminal serves as the heart of the airport and meeting place. In this space, a large dome is used that allows natural light to pass through. The starfish shape makes it possible to place the maximum number of aircraft at the terminal with a minimum distance to the centre. The sixth arm of the starfish is an 80,000 square metre space that is a transport hub for high-speed and local trains, but also includes a hotel and offices. As well as being sophisticated, the airport is a source of sustainable solutions. It is powered by solar panels and has a central heating system with heat recovery that is supported by a ground source heat pump and it has been given a rainwater collection and water management system.
Zaha Hadid would be proud if she'd still been here.