Structure of the Year Award 2020: Zaha Hadid's Beijing Daxing International Airport

🏆 SI's STRUCTURE OF THE YEAR 2020 🏆

General Info📚

  • Location: Daxing, Beijing&Guangyang, Langfang(Hebei) 🇨🇳

  • Construction Period: 26 December 2014 - 25 September 2019

  • Total Passenger capacity: 3,138,000 🧍‍♂️🧍‍♂️

  • Airport Master Plan: NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants)

  • Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects 🇬🇧 & Planner ADPI 🇫🇷

  • Facade Designer: XinShan Curtainwall and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design

  • Project cost: US$17 billion 💵 ‼️

  • Construction chief engineer: Guo Yanchi 👷🏻‍♂️

  • Building Area: 700.000m²

  • Technologies implemented: The entire airport has 5G access and uses facial recognition technology for check-ins


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As per AD :

"The terminal layouts minimize the walking distances between check-in and gate, and also the distances between gates for transferring passengers, to a maximum of eight minutes by foot," says Cristiano Ceccato, ZHA's project director for the Beijing Daxing airport.

A project to create the world’s largest airport terminal. A series of key technologies were proposed during the design to realise a fantastic architectural effect. These included a supporting system mainly composed of C-shaped columns, seismic-isolation system of a gigantic planar structure, and vibration control techniques for the high-speed railway passing through the terminal.


The rooftop, which allows in ample natural sunlight, also has supporting beams that move constantly through space, acting like lines toward the central courtyard. This, once more, was intentionally done to assist passengers in their navigation of the busy airport.


International and domestic passengers are stacked on different levels hence spreading the areas vertically making the airport more crowd efficient and enable a more congestion-free space for passengers.

"Transferring passengers only need to walk a short distance to the center of the airport, then quickly and efficiently funnel themselves to any other of the four legs in the airport.
Central Courtyard

How many runways does Daxing airport have?


For the time being, Daxing Airport has four runways and 79 airport stands. The 4 runways’ size is impressive while the airport stands are suitable both for one twin-aisle and two single-aisle planes. Eventually, the airport will have 7 runways in total and will be able to serve about 620.000 flights annually.

Daxing Airport - Plan View
Daxing Airport - Plan View

How much did the Daxing Airport Cost?


Built-in less than five years at a cost of 120 billion yuan ($17 billion), the airport is roughly the size of 100 football fields.


How big is Daxing airport?


The gigantic Daxing airport, with the impressive shape which has given it the nickname “Starfish”, has enormous dimensions. There are currently 4 runways (with the prospect of becoming 7 in the future) and a vast terminal building covering a 700.000m² area while the ground transportation centre extends to 80.000m².

Daxing Airport Intirior Terminal

Sources: daxing-pkx-airport.com, istructe.org, archdaily