Zaha Hadid Architects' Beijing Airport Opens

John Hill
26. September 2019
Photo: Screenshot from film by Zaha Hadid Architects

Beijing Daxing International Airport, located nearly 50 kilometers south of the city center, was inaugurated on Wednesday. The design by Zaha Hadid Architects resembles a starfish when seen from above.

The massive 700,000 m2 building has 79 gates and was designed to handle 72 million passengers per year by 2025 with its current four-runway configuration. The airport was built to alleviate pressure on Beijing Capital International Airport, which was designed by Foster + Partners and opened in 2008 in time for that year's Olympics. Beijing Capital serves about 100 million passengers annually, a number Beijing Daxing will be able to accommodate by 2040 with the doubling of its runways.

Numbers aside, the new airport is architecturally stunning for its starfish form, which has a grand courtyard at its center and limits the distant required for passengers to reach their gate. Most dramatic is the vaulted roof with spans of up to 100 meters and skylights where the roof dips to meet the floor level. 

Beijing Daxing is one of many projects that was designed by Zaha Hadid before she died in March 2016. Technically, a joint design team of Zaha Hadid Architects and ADP Ingeniérie designed the airport, delivering it with the Beijing Institute of Architecture & Design and China Airport Construction Company. Construction of the airport was completed in less than five years.

Photo: Hufton+Crow
Photo: Hufton+Crow
Photo: Hufton+Crow
Photo: Hufton+Crow

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