Flight delays and travel slog are less stressful inside a well-designed airport. With so many factors to take into account, it is not an easy task for architects to design facilities that are gorgeous as much as convenient. Boasting striking architecture, these airports in China can really turn traveling by plane into a joyful and memorable experience.
With rapid economic growth and urban spread in China, no wonder the country seems to be the center of bespoke architectural projects that impress both with their magnificence and scale. Thus, the world’s largest single-building terminal was built in Beijing.
Nicknamed ‘the Starfish’, the 700,000sqm Daxing International airport was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects to alleviate congestion at the Chinese capital’s existing airport, which is currently operating at full capacity. Expected to accommodate 72 million by 2025, the terminal includes a transportation center offering direct connections to the high-speed rail network and local train services. The design also allows the highest degree of flexibility for any future reconfiguration.
The concept pays homage to the principles of traditional Chinese architecture, according to which interconnected spaces are organized around a central courtyard – a multi-layered meeting space at the heart of the terminal. This compact radial design makes the terminal convenient for passengers and allows a maximum number of aircraft to be parked at the terminal simultaneously within a 8 minutes walking distance from the building’s center.
To bring natural light in, the structure features a network of linear skylights as well as the six flowing forms within the vaulted roof.
Hulunbuir Hailar Airport designed by Beijing based U10 Atelier CADG is located in Hailar District, Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, known as one of the Top 10 Snowy Cities in China. The existing 7600sqm terminal could not meet the needs of ever-growing number of tourists coming to see the world’s most beautiful snowy prairies.
The expansion project is designed with strong local features and based on an innovative architectural form, with frame columns supporting the huge curved roof by several double V-shaped structures. The new and old terminals are perfectly connected by a stretching canopy.
The structural integration of the columns, ceiling and roof creates a continuous space resembling a Mongolian yurt, while the palette of golden and white creates a feeling of a sunny birch forest. The typical local elements of clouds and herds are beautifully expressed by the curve of the roof.
China’s Heilongjiang province with the capital in Harbin is also famous for immense amounts of snow. Referencing this peculiarity of the region, MAD architects, international practice with offices in Beijing and Los Angeles, have released their design proposal for a new terminal at Harbin Taiping international airport.
The new transportation hub will feature ground transportation center (GTC), hotel, retail, and parking lots. MAD’s concept is aimed to bring people, nature, and the local environment together.
The building is designed in the shape of a snowflake and also mimics the slopes of the region’s undulating topography. The snow flake shape allows to greatly shorten the time it takes passengers to arrive at the gate, simultaneously improving the airport’s overall efficiency.
To enhance energy-saving features of the airport by reducing the need for artificial illumination, ridges on the roof function as skylights. Indoor gardens offer opportunities for reflection and tranquility.