Beijing Daxing Airport

Zaha Hadid-designed mega project

This was a monster of a project and so there was no team better to lead the design of Beijing Daxing Airport than Zaha Hadid Architects.  With a capacity of 100 million passengers, integrated mass transit and extensive freight capacity this is an airport built for the future.

BEIJING DAXING AIRPORT - 700,000 m2 terminal

The Facts

The passenger terminal alone occupies 700,000m2 and is expected to accommodate 72 million passengers by 2025 and up to 100 million potentially. It was designed to alleviate transport issues at Beijing's other airport as well as providing opportunity for expansion in the future which wasn't possible at the other airport's more central location. Integration with other mass transportation was included from day one with a high speed connection to the rest of Beijing's Subway.


The Design

As expected, the airport's design incorporates traditional Chinese architecture with multiple spaces situated around a central area which occupies multiple stories. Structural spans are as big as 100m and the radial design of the terminal allows for a maximum number of aircraft to be accommodated and ensuring minimal walking for passengers. Unlike many other major airports there is no need for shuttle buses to shunt passengers to far away satellite terminals.

The airport uses Photovoltaic power generation throughout and uses a modern waste heat recovery system to reduce power consumption and pollution. Further environmental efforts include a rainwater collection and central water management system which also purifies water in nearby rivers and lakes.

BEIJING DAXING AIRPORT - Minimal walking for passengers
BEIJING DAXING AIRPORT - The central skylight is 45m high


The numbers are impressive with a height of 45m for the central dome's skylight and a Huawei 'smart travel system' which supports facial recognition at check-in and security points along with copious smart robots which patrol the airport. Even the furthest boarding gate is only an eight minute walk from the centre of the terminal meanwhile the flowing forms support the roof while also acting as skylights to introduce more light into the building.

The structure has six radiating arms of which five are piers for aircraft and the sixth in the huge transport hub with hotel and offices. At US$11 billion, Daxing Airport is the world's most expensive airport and the first to feature two-storey departure gates throughout alongside seven runways