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Beijing New Airport to look forward to in 2019, by Zaha Hadid

Iraqi- Born British architect, Zaha Hadid became a solid reference in contemporary architecture and a representative woman in the architectural world.  She grew up at a time when Iraq’s capital was a secular, cosmopolitan, progressive city, full of new ideas and cultural experiments. Her roots in Baghdad had been hugely influential in informing her work, she never limit her practice to a specific style, and she is well-known for her use of geometric shapes to create dynamic, fluid structures.

Today, Hadid’s on-going legacy, embodied in her creations around the globe, including in America, China and Switzerland; Some of her most well- known pieces such as the London Olympics, Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, the Cardiff Bay Opera House and the 2022 Fifa World Cup Stadium in Qatar. In the words of her mentor Rem Koolhaas, she was “a planet in her own inimitable orbit”.

When Antoni Gaudi first designed the Sagrada Familia in 1883, no one within the industry understood his idea or vision that the construction would take over a century to complete. But then now, his eccentric code of aesthetics has since transcended time and translated into a new archetype that people from all over the world would travel to see it. Like the Sagrada Familia, Beijing Daxing International airport was one of the last project that Zaha Hadid worked on before her death in 2016. Her revolutionising philosophy for this international airport will still be felt for many years to come as she shifted the traditional culture of architecture and the way that we experience buildings.

At 9.28 am, an aircraft took off from Beijing Capital International Airport and the plane landed smoothly on the runway at Beijing’s new International Daxing Airport. This was the first flight inspection is carried out on the Jan 22 2019, and is on track to be completed on 30th September 2019.

Accommodating 72 million passengers per year by 2025 (620,000 fights per year) on four runways. The second phase of the project will continue to develop in the future, due to be expanded to 72 million passengers by 2025. When this project if fully completed in 2040, the total capacity is estimated to be able to serve 100million passengers and 4 million tonnes of cargo annually. The new terminal will officially serve China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines respectively and exclusively.

This project is a combination of visionary architecture and engineering ingenuity. Following the completion of the concept design stage, the project is now led by ADPI and the ZHA Beijing office group respectively after Zaha Hadid’s death in 2016. Hadid’s adaptable civic architecture and ADPI’s knowledge of airport planning and development, will ensure the new terminal at Beijing Daxing to be a very convenient, sustainable and future- proof airport. It’s unique radial design aims to provide flexibility for operational functions and optimal convenience for travellers.

In 2018, the Chinese government mentioned that Beijing is in desperate need of a second global gateway. The reason is that the existing Capital International Airport is hitting full capacity, making it impossible to add flights at peak time. Beijing was rated as one of the worst flight delays, almost near the bottom of on-time flight list among airport worldwide.

While there is no indication that the Chinese military, which controls most of the country’s airspace, will loosen its grip to give airliners more room, the airport authority insists Daxing’s multi-directional runway design will improve operational efficiency in the air.

Zaha Hadid chose the design concept to be the phoenix motif in part to contrast with Beijing’s current dragon-inspired Beijing Capital International Airport. The new airport is being built to take pressure of the over-crowded Beijing Capital International Airport located in the north-eastern suburbs. The distance between two airports will be about 67 km. Hadid designed the airport to look like a golden phoenix with its spider-like layout and vibrant orange hues, stretching out its wings under the sun. The wings are defined by five limbs spreading out from a central core, each “wing” will use images from Chinese culture, including “silk, tea, porcelain, farmlands, and Chinese gardens.

  The distance from the far-end of each wing to the centre building will be less than 600 meters, in other words, this design distinguishes airport from most large international airports that inevitably require commuters to walk long distances. Walking distance between security checkpoints and the remotest gates inside this new terminal requires no more than 8minutes according to the developers. Zaha’s design maximise convenience to passengers as baggage arrival time will only take 13minutes, and passengers will need only eight minutes to walk from the Customs to the boarding gates.

  Hadid gets the inspiration from principles within traditional Chinese architecture. The new airport acts like an interconnected spaces around a central courtyard, that guiding 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.

  According to Zaha Hadid Architects Beijing Office, each and every phase of the ongoing project was finished on time or ahead of schedule so far, and the construction methods have all been in line with international standards. The new terminal occupies 47 square kilometres- equivalent to 33 Hype Parks or a size of Beijing National Olympic Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest. From above, “God view” of the Beijing Daxing International Airport is composed of a central skylight, radiating roof like a vivid ”starfish”. In the design of inner space, consideration will be given to making use of natural light, the skylight window daylighting roofing system need to use 12800 pieces of different materials of glass mosaic.

When the facility is fully build, there will be a ground transportation centre inside the airport, including an aggregation of high-speed railways, subway lines and intercity trains linking to urban areas. The section between the airports to Beijing centre will operate at the speed of 250 km/h, cutting the end-to-end journey time to about 11 minutes. A new high-speed Beijing–Xiong’an intercity railway is expected to run in September 2019. It will connect the network of Beijing, Daxing District of Beijing, the new Daxing International airport, Bazhou, and finally Xiong’an. The ground transportation centre have been designed to be extremely user-focussed, efficient and adaptable for future growth; its traffic transfer centre gives exceptional convenience for passengers and flexibility in operations. Although the airport is situated 46 kilometres from the centre of Beijing, but a passenger landing at Daxing can reach the centre of Beijing in less than half an hour and reach any city in the south-central part of Hebei Province within 2 hours.

The new terminal is based on an environmental protection design to overcome harsh environmental situations. The building’s steel frame has a seismic capacity of up to 8 degrees, adopts both a seismic isolation design on the top of basement and the design concept of “soil softness” that can withstand an earthquake.

*The isolation layer is composed of a lead-core isolation bearing, a common rubber isolation bearing, an elastic skateboard support and a damper. By setting such a layer with a low rigidity, the seismic isolation layer can be greatly moved or deformed at the time of the earthquake, and the seismic force can be prevented from being damaged by the upper structure, and the seismic force can be eliminated by the damping of the isolation layer. It not only increases the weight and cost of building components, but also effectively improves the building’s seismic capacity.

In addition, a melting ice and snow materials have been added to the asphalt at the uppermost layer of the highway toward the new Beijing Daxing International Airport. These materials are used to reduce the freezing point to about minus 12 degrees Celsius, overcome the impact of snow weather on the high-speed traffic capacity, and reduce the damage to the environment and bridge structure. This is the first time that China decided to use the melting ice and snow pavement technology in such a large scale project.

The new terminal will make its contribution to the global air transportation network and economic growth in Beijing’s southern districts as well as nearby regions. More importantly, Zaha Hadid’s design for the new Beijing terminal enables further connections between Beijing and cultural, economic and civic centres around the globe. It was definitely a challenge to deliver such design for the airport to be a welcoming place for passengers, characterised by open and expansive interiors. Adaptability and sustainability were also key drivers, for adding a new iconic aviation facility for the Beijing city.

——————Chinese version ————–中文版本———————

揭秘即将崛起的新世界七大奇迹-北京国际新机场, 来自扎哈·哈迪德


于2016年3月31日,传奇女建筑师扎哈·哈迪德因心脏病去世。人们纷纷用“巨星陨落” 、“划时代的女魔头”这样的字眼来形容。作为建筑设计领域的大师,一生未婚却将自己嫁给了建筑设计,当世人还在感叹她为世界留下的宝贵作品,上帝却请她去设计天堂。

她遗留下来的许多作品遍布全球,有一些也临近完成之际。继上一期的Morpheus酒店后,这一期将会向大家介绍扎哈与巴黎机场集团建筑设计公司 (ADPI) 共同参与的极大规模机场设计方案,北京大兴国际机场。





中国决定在北京建设新机场的主要原因是迅速增长的客流量,在2017年中国的航空旅客增长了13%。航空专家表示中国领空的大约70%由军方严格控制 (如果在美国,这个数字是20%) 。因此,即使北京机场是时间上排名前五的繁忙机场,但基于起降数量它的客流量比起其他世界领先的机场少了近三分之一。空域不足一直是中国航班延误的关键原因,这使得中国的航空公司在准点率排名中垫底,去年在北京航班延误的情况增加了50%, 只有71%的航班准时起飞。

从施工中的设计图,已经可以看出建筑量体最为显著的放射曲线,自钢架的线条也展露出相当精致的结构设计,犹如一座巨型的装置艺术品。星芒形组成的新机场是由五大机翼楼连接而成,背后象征着中国的文化: 丝绸、茶叶、瓷器、中国园林及广大的田野,象征祖国的意义浓厚。五大翼楼由中心往外伸展,长度届不超过600公尺。从外部观看,新机场造型就像一只展翅飞翔的凤凰,中央延伸的五个机翼就如同凤凰的“翅膀。” 《山海经》有云:凤凰,见则天下安宁。北京新机场航站楼的造型寓意“凤凰展翅”,与首都机场形成“龙凤呈祥”的双枢纽的格局。








众所周知,中国的发展速度一年比一年快,作为建筑界的翘楚,大家也在适应这个城市的发展速度,同时学习城市的肌理,也在见证Zaha Hadid的设计逐渐变成北京的一部分,在她的笔下,赋予了机场设计全新生命力。


One thought on “Beijing New Airport to look forward to in 2019, by Zaha Hadid”

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