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World's Largest Airport, Designed By Zaha Hadid, Is Now Open

Beijing Daxing International is the biggest airport in the world and was designed by legendary female architect Zaha Hadid.

Vincent Lee/Facebook, NKCHU, Supplied/Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid | House and Leisure

After five years of construction, Beijing Daxing International Airport opened its doors to travellers on 30 September and offers the largest passenger termina in the world, measuring a staggering 700000m².

Designed by renowned architectural firm, Zaha Hadid Architects in collaboration with ADP Ingénierie, the megastructure has been designed to offer travellers a unique experience with enhanced ease of travel, catering to the world's fastest growing demand for international travel. 

Zaha Hadid | House and Leisure

The airport is located a mere 46km south of Beijing's city centre and is conveniently only a 20-minute express-train ride away. Its aim is to become the main airport hub of the region. 

Zaha Hadid | House and Leisure

Beijing Daxing International Airport will initially serve 45 million passengers annually and by 2025, the airport aims to accomodate 72 million traveller sper year.

Further plans are in motion to extend the airport to eventually serve 100 million passengers and four million tons of cargo each year. Currently the airport has only four runways but plans to increase this to seven, which will enable it to serve a whopping 620000 flights annually.

Zaha Hadid | House and Leisure

The gigantic passenger terminal includes a ground transportation centre with direct transport access to Beijing such as the national high-speed rail network and other local train services. 

Zaha Hadid | House and Leisure

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The airport is currently serving a limited number of flights but will expand this over the course of the next few months, with all its operations functioning. 

Design by Zaha Hadid Architects 

Showcasing traditional principles of Chinese architecture , the airport hosts interconnected spaces with the central courtyard being the focal point. The seamless design guides passengers through to the various departure, arrival and transfer zones. 

With six flowing forms serving as support to the structure reaching from the roof to the floor, the interior is a visual masterpiece. Natural light filters into the entire airport due to the way the roof is designed, while a network of linear skylights also provide a secondary form of navigation through the building. 

Zaha Hadid | House and Leisure

Nicknamed 'the starfish', due to its network of elongated sections spreading outward from the central 'courtyard' space, the airport's compact radial design also means that a maximum number of aircrafts will be able to park directly at the terminal, again helping to improve the experience of the airport for travellers. 

Zaha Hadid | House and Leisure


There are five aircraft piers connected to the terminal's main central court, which functions as the passenger service and amenities area.

Due to the ease of access of this area to the aircraft piers and terminals, travellers will walk short distances and there will be no need for the automated shuttle trains that characterise many other airport hubs around the world.

Beijing Daxing International Airport | House and Leisure

According to reports, travellers may have to walk as little as 600 metres – which will take about eight minutes – between security check points and the furthest gate. 

Beijing Daxing International Airport | House and Leisure


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Energy-saving interventions 

To maintain a green ethos, the airport is currently powered by photovoltaic power generation and centralised heating is used with waste heat recovery. 

Rainwater collection has been incorporated into the structure and a water-management network facilitated by natural storage, permiation and natural purification of up to 2.8 million cubic meres of water in a new wetland, lakes and streams. 

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