Beijing Daxing International Airport by Zaha Hadid Architects is located in the Daxing district 46km south of the city center, 20 minutes by express train. Developed to alleviate congestion in the capital’s existing airport, Beijing Daxing will be a major transport hub for the region with the world’s fastest-growing demand for international travel. It is fully integrated within the country’s expanding transport network. Composed by fluid forms, the airport terminals are radially detached from a compact central courtyard, allowing minimum distances between check-in and gates.
Initially serving 45 million passengers per year, Beijing Daxing will accommodate 72 million travelers by 2025 and is planned for further expansion to serve up to 100 million passengers and 4 million tons of cargo annually.
Beijing Daxing’s 700,000m² passenger terminal includes an 80,000 m² ground transportation center offering direct connections to Beijing, the national high-speed rail network and local train services, providing a catalyst for economic development in Tianjin and Hebei Province.
Recently assigned the airport code ‘PKX’ by the International Air Transport Association, Beijing Daxing sets a new standard in air transport services to serve the region’s growing population within a compact and efficient passenger terminal that is adaptable for future growth. Echoing principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organize interconnected spaces around a central courtyard, the terminal’s design guides all passengers seamlessly through the relevant departure, arrival, or transfer zones towards the grand courtyard at its center—a multi-layered meeting space at the heart of the terminal.
Six flowing forms within the terminal’s vaulted roof reach to the ground to support the structure and bring natural light, directing all passengers towards the central courtyard. Natural light also enters the terminal via a network of linear skylights that provide an intuitive system of navigation throughout the building that guides passengers to and from their departure gates.
Structural spans of up to 100m create the terminal’s generous public spaces and allow the highest degree of flexibility for any future reconfiguration. The compact radial design of the terminal allows a maximum number of aircraft to be parked directly at the terminal with minimum distances from the center of the building, which provides exceptional convenience for passengers and flexibility in operations. Seventy-nine gates with airbridges connect directly to the terminal which can rapidly process the passengers of six full A380 aircraft simultaneously.
Five aircraft piers radiate directly from the terminal’s main central court where all passenger services and amenities are located, enabling passengers to walk the comparatively short distances through the airport without the need for automated shuttle trains. As a result, the terminal’s compact design minimizes distances between check-in and gate, as well as connections between gates for transferring passengers. This radial configuration ensures the farthest boarding gate can be accessed in a walking time of fewer than eight minutes.
Photovoltaic power generation is installed throughout the airport to provide a minimum capacity of at least 10MW. Beijing Daxing’s centralized heating with waste heat recovery is supported by a composite ground-source heat pump system incorporating a concentrated energy supply area of nearly 2.5 million m².
The airport also implements rainwater collection and a water management system that employs the natural storage, natural permeation and natural purification of up to 2.8 million cubic meters of water in new wetlands, lakes, and streams to prevent flooding and counter the summer ‘heat island’ effect of the local microclimate.
DATE: 2014-2019 / LOCATION: Daxing, Beijing, China / AREA: m2 (built) / PROGRAM: airport / STATUS: built / DESIGN: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and ADP Ingeniérie (ADPI) / DESIGN (ZHA): Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher / PROJECT DIRECTORS (ZHA): Cristiano Ceccato, Charles Walker, Mouzhan Majidi / PROJECT DESIGN DIRECTOR (ZHA): Paulo Flores / PROJECT ARCHITECT (ZHA): Lydia Kim /PROJECT COORDINATION (ZHA): Eugene Leung, Shao-Wei Huang / TEAM (ZHA): Uli Blum, Antonio Monserrat, Alberto Moletto, Sophie Davison, Carolina Lopez-Blanco, Shaun Farrell, Junyi Wang, Ermis Chalvatzis, Rafael Contreras, Michael Grau, Fernando Poucell, Gerry Cruz, Filipa Gomez, Kyla Farrell, Natassa Lianou, Teoman Ayas, Peter Logan, Yun Zhang, Karoly Markos, Irene Guerra / BEIJING TEAM (ZHA): Satoshi Ohashi, Rita Lee, Yang Jingwen, Lillie Liu, Juan Liu / LOCAL DESIGN INSTITUTES: BIAD (Beijing Institute of Architecture & Design) + CACC (China Airport Construction Company) / CONSORTIUM TEAM (Competition Stage): Pascall + Watson, BuroHappold Engineering, Mott Macdonald, EC Harris Consultants, McKinsey & Company, Dunnett Craven, Triagonal, Logplan, Sensing Places, SPADA / CONSULTANTS: China IPPR International Engineering (Security System + Baggage Systems Design), China Electronics Engineering Design Institute + Civil Aviation Electronic Technology (Information and Weak Power Systems Design), The Third Rail Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation (High Speed Rail Design), Beijing City Construction Design Research General Institute (Subway Design), Beijing General Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute (Viaduct/Bridge Design), ARUP (Fire Performance Design), Central Academy of Fine Arts (Public Art), Beijing TsingHua Tong Heng Urban Planning and Design Institute (Green Technology), DTree (BIM Design), XinShan Curtainwall + Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Group) Complex Structure Division (Architecture Façade), Lea+Elliott (Metro System), Gala Lighting Design Studio (Lighting), East Sign Design & Engineering (Identification/Signage System), Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Group) (BIAD) Landscape Design Division (Landscape) / CLIENT: Beijing New Airport Construction Headquarters / PHOTOS: ©Hufton+Crow