The terminal’s compact design minimises distances between check-in and gate, as well as minimises distances between gates for transferring passengers. Every aircraft pier radiates directly from the terminal’s main central court where all passenger services and amenities are located, enabling passengers to simply walk the short distances to everywhere they need to go.
Evolving from principles within traditional Chinese architecture that organise 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 very heart of the terminal.
Flowing parabolic folds 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.
Housing many aircraft gates in one terminal with a single passenger handling centre – rather than many smaller terminals and continuous inter-terminal shuttle trains – significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the airport throughout its construction and operational lifetime; helping to achieve the airport’s very high targets of environmental management and sustainability.
Designed to adapt to operate in many different configurations dependant on varying aircraft and passenger traffic throughout each day, the new airport will include an integrated transport centre offering direct links to Beijing city centre, local rail services and the national high-speed rail network, making the airport an important hub within Beijing’s growing transport network and a catalyst for economic development in Tianjin and Hebei Province.
Following the 2011 international competition, in October 2014 the Beijing New Airport Headquarters (BNAH) created a Joint Design Team bringing together ADP Ingeniérie (ADPI) and Zaha Hadid Architects’ group members Buro Happold, Mott Macdonald and EC Harris to collaborate on the optimised concept design for the new Beijing international airport terminal building. The project is led by the Local Design Institute under the leadership of BNAH.