Beijing Daxing Airport

Zaha Hadid Architects – 2019

Entry: October 2019

Less than five years after construction began, the 450bn yuan (£50bn) Daxing international airport was officially opened on September 26, 2019. The new mega-airport, the second in Beijing, was designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid in the shape of a starfish with five connected concourses. It is said to be the world’s largest single-building airport terminal. At 700,000 sq metres, with four runways, it is expected to be able to handle 72 million passengers a year by 2025.

The airport is arranged around a central "grand courtyard" with five aircraft piers radiating directly out to give the building the appearance of a starfish from above. The four-storey airport is arranged around this central space, which is naturally lit with a glass roof that the studio refers to as a "central orientation space dome".

"Echoing 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 heart of the terminal," explained the studio.