ADPI and Zaha Hadid’s Beijing New Airport Terminal Building fuses the grand with the intimate, Christie Lee writes.
Should you ever find yourself, like Viktor Navorski in The Terminal, stranded at a foreign airport for an indefinite period of time, the forthcoming Beijing New Airport Terminal Building in Daxing might just be your best bet.
Developed under the leadership of the Beijing New Airport Headquarters (BNAH), airport specialist ADP Ingeniere (APDI) and Zaha Hadid have completed the concept design for the world’s largest passenger terminal.
Slated for a 2016 completion date, the Beijing New Airport Terminal Building spans 700,000 metres square, with an additional 80,000-metre-square ground transportation centre, and is expected to serve 45 million passengers per year. Described as an “integrated multi-modal transport centre”, the terminal will be directly connected to local and national rail services including the Gaotie high-speed rail.
From afar, the terminal looks like a spaceship in the midst of an otherworldly voyage but beneath its intimidating façade is a layout that puts the humanity back into airport design.
Aside from minimalising walking distances between all departure gates, ADPI’s six-pier radial concept structure allows the terminal to “operate in many different configurations depending on the varying aircraft and passenger traffic throughout each day.”
Zaha Hadid, the go-to architect for neo-futuristic designs, leaves her mark with soaring sweeps and sinuous curves, which imbues the space with a sense of scale and orientation. Meanwhile, the overall symmetry is an ode to Chinese architectural philosophy.
At the centre of the terminal is a courtyard where all pathways flow towards, creating a multi-layered civic space where passengers mingle and relax before their next departure takes flight.
As Don Delillo once said: “Air travel reminds us who we are. It’s the means by which we recognise ourselves as modern. The process removes us from the world and sets us apart from each other… This vast terminal has been erected to examine souls.”
Images courtesy of Methanoia/Zaha Hadid Architects
ADP Ingeniere (APDI)
Zaha Hadid Architects