Designed by Zaha Hadid Architect, the Beijing Daxing International Airport in China is now open. At 700,000 m2 (7.5 milllion sf), the passenger centre is the world’s largest single-built terminal.
Nicknamed the starfish, the design echoes 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 centre – 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 within, 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, guiding 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.
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 on the local microclimate.