Architecture

Zaha Hadid's enormous starfish-like airport inaugurated in China

Zaha Hadid's enormous starfish...
The Beijing Daxing International Airport cost a reported 450 billion Yuan (roughly US$63 billion)
The Beijing Daxing International Airport cost a reported 450 billion Yuan (roughly US$63 billion)
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The Beijing Daxing International Airport cost a reported 450 billion Yuan (roughly US$63 billion)
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The Beijing Daxing International Airport cost a reported 450 billion Yuan (roughly US$63 billion)
Beijing Daxing International Airport is a new airport in the Daxing district 46 km (28.5 miles) south of the city center
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Beijing Daxing International Airport is a new airport in the Daxing district 46 km (28.5 miles) south of the city center
Beijing Daxing International Airport has 700,000 sq m (roughly 7.5 million sq ft) of floorspace
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Beijing Daxing International Airport has 700,000 sq m (roughly 7.5 million sq ft) of floorspace
Beijing Daxing International Airport's interior is about 9 times the size of England's Buckingham Palace or roughly 3.5 times the size of China's Forbidden City
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Beijing Daxing International Airport's interior is about 9 times the size of England's Buckingham Palace or roughly 3.5 times the size of China's Forbidden City
Beijing Daxing International Airport will serve 45 million passengers per year, increasing to 72 million by 2025
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Beijing Daxing International Airport will serve 45 million passengers per year, increasing to 72 million by 2025
Beijing Daxing International Airport will eventually serve up to 100 million passengers per year
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Beijing Daxing International Airport will eventually serve up to 100 million passengers per year
Beijing Daxing International Airport's design ensures natural light inside
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Beijing Daxing International Airport's design ensures natural light inside
Beijing Daxing International Airport includes 79 gates
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Beijing Daxing International Airport includes 79 gates
Beijing Daxing International Airport features solar power, which helps reduce the grid-based electricity needs of the huge building
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Beijing Daxing International Airport features solar power, which helps reduce the grid-based electricity needs of the huge building
Beijing Daxing International Airport is laid out so that distances between check-in and gate are minimized
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Beijing Daxing International Airport is laid out so that distances between check-in and gate are minimized
Beijing Daxing International Airport is expected to eventually host up to 100 million passengers per year
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Beijing Daxing International Airport is expected to eventually host up to 100 million passengers per year

Resembling some kind of strange alien starfish, the massive Beijing Daxing International Airport is one of Zaha Hadid Architects' most eye-catching buildings to date. The airport features a significant amount of sustainable technology too, including solar power and rainwater collection systems.

Beijing Daxing International Airport was created in collaboration with ADP Ingénierie and China Airport Construction Company. According to The Guardian, it cost 450 billion Yuan (roughly US$63 billion) to construct.

The airport is centered around the world's largest single building terminal, and has 700,000 sq m (roughly 7.5 million sq ft) of floorspace. To put its size into perspective, it's about nine times larger than England's Buckingham Palace and roughly three and a half times the size of China's Forbidden City.

Initially, it will serve 45 million passengers per year but this is expected to increase to 72 million by 2025, eventually expanding up to a maximum of 100 million at some point in the future.

Beijing Daxing International Airport features solar power, which helps reduce the grid-based electricity needs of the huge building
Beijing Daxing International Airport features solar power, which helps reduce the grid-based electricity needs of the huge building

There's something rather Gigeresque about Beijing Daxing International Airport's overall design, though according to ZHA, its inspiration hails from much closer to home and echoes traditional Chinese architecture that organizes interconnected spaces around a central courtyard. The design also has a practical focus and increases natural light inside and aims to make it easy to access the gates and other areas.

"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, providing exceptional convenience for passengers and flexibility in operations," says ZHA. "79 gates with airbridges connect directly to the terminal which can rapidly process the passengers of six full A380 aircraft simultaneously. "

Beijing Daxing International Airport will serve 45 million passengers per year, increasing to 72 million by 2025
Beijing Daxing International Airport will serve 45 million passengers per year, increasing to 72 million by 2025

Solar panels provide over 10 MW of electricity and the airport's heating comes from an efficient ground-source heat pump system. It also features a huge rainwater collection and management system that manages the storage and purification of 2.8 million cubic m (98 million cubic ft) of water in a series of wetlands, lakes, and streams, which were created to prevent flooding and mitigate any heat island effects.

Beijing Daxing International Airport was inaugurated by Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in time for the country's National Day celebrations on October 1, which marks 70 years of the People's Republic of China.

Source: Zaha Hadid Architects

6 comments
Jerome C. Borden
Any Star Trek fans out there? My first impression was that of a Klingon attack ship.
Douglas Rogers
It looks like China has moved into the 21st century! Maybe this will happen in the United states.
Nelson Hyde Chick
It looks like a uterus, which is only slightly different than most of her designs that look like vaginas.
Douglas Rogers
The idea behind petrodollars was to bring China and Saudi Arabia into the 20th century. I think it has worked!
buzzclick
It's remarkable how quickly and efficiently the Chinese can build even the most massive and complex structures that are predestined for the future needs of the country.
Matt Fletcher
Wow is right, $800 million per gate!! Boy did they overpay, looks like China has surpassed the US in having there government overpay for public projects by a long shot. To top that it won't be completely up and running at full capacity for another 6 years, 2025 and there's no way 79 gates will be able to service 72 million passengers. To put this in perspective Denver Intl'l Airport cost $8 billion, in today's money, has over 130 gates and services 64 million passengers. No matter how you slice it they got screwed but the building looks nice.