Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The World’s Largest Airport Terminal

Will be a Swoopy, $13 Billion

China’s booming capital will soon boast the world’s most expansive airport terminal, having recruited internationally celebrated architect Zaha Hadid to produce plans for a structure that (like many of her works) is huge, undulating, and seemingly cornerless. In all, the 7.5 million-square-foot terminal has plenty of room for the expected 125,000 daily travelers—not to mention the feel of a dystopian fantasy directed by The Wachowski Brothers.

Hadid’s firm writes that the new terminal “will be extremely user focused, efficient, adaptable, and sustainable,” which would be quite the feat given the sheer size of its central courtyard alone. With help from its six curved spokes and central terminal-within-a-terminal (a "multi-layered civic space"), the structure also promises to be of “human scale,” despite its mass.

The façade measures three miles, though the radial design theorhetically "reduces passenger transfer distances between all departure gates." And apparently all the spaciousness is needed. Beijing's other airport, a Norman Foster-designed plan that opened in 2008 for the city’s Olympics, is the second-busiest airport in the world. According to the Telegraph, in 2014, it processed 86 million passengers, some 13 million more than London’s Heathrow. The new Daxing Airport, under construction roughly 30 miles from Beijing's core, is currently being built to help shoulder the burden. The price? An estimated $13.1 billion. Construction is supposed to wrap in 2018.

The world's largest airport terminal planned for China
Designed by Zaha Hadid, the forthcoming Beijing International Airport Terminal 1 is almost double the size of Heathrow Terminal 5 and will serve 125,000 passengers each day

Have pity for passengers attempting a last-minute dash to their gate at the forthcoming Beijing International Airport’s terminal 1. Airport developers ADPI have collaborated with Zaha Hadid to design what will be the world’s largest airport terminal. Their plans show a 7.5 million square foot space that will process 45 million passengers a year – that’s almost 125,000 people a day.

Renderings of the terminal show a vast central hub from which six curved spokes extend. Zaha Hadid Architects say this radial design will greatly reduce passenger transfer time between different parts of the airport, and despite the building’s immense size the firm says it will retain a “human scale”.

Multiple public spaces will be found within the largely column-free building and a grand central courtyard will stand at its epicentre. The structure’s façade will curve to a distance of three miles, and capacity here could be further expanded to enable the terminal to ultimately accommodate 72 million passengers each year.

Why Beijing is Spending $13 Billion on a New Airport

Six years after Beijing spent $3.5 billion to build what was then the world’s largest airport passenger terminal, China’s national planning agency has green-lit a new airport that will cost nearly four times as much.

On Monday, China’s National Development and Reform Commission announced it had approved the construction of a new airport in the southern Beijing suburbs to ease congestion and overcrowding at Beijing International Airport. The new airport, which will be designed by Netherlands Airport Consultants, is expected to take five years to build at a total cost of 80 billion yuan ($13.1 billion).

Beijing International Airport’s Terminal 3, a sprawling 10.6-million-square foot complex designed by a team of architects (including Netherlands Airport Consultants), opened in March 2008, just in time for the Beijing Olympics.