New terminal at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport
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New terminal at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport

Massimiliano & Doriana Fuksas

New terminal at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport
Edited By Massimiliano & Doriana Fuksas -

The new terminal at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Guangdong, China, the first airport by architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, is set to become an iconic landmark that will boost economic development in this region of China. After an international competition, it has undergone a remarkably rapid process of design and construction that lasted 3 years. The terminal encompasses 63 contact gates, with a further 15 remote gates and significant retail space. By increasing the capacity of the airport by 58%, it allows the airport to handle up to 45 million passengers per year. The new terminal is of critical importance to the continuing growth of Shenzhen - one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. The sculptural 500.000 sq m terminal evokes the image of a manta ray and features a striking internal and external double skin honeycomb motif that wraps the structure. At 1.5 km long, with roof spans of up to 80 m, honeycomb shaped metal and glass panels punctuate the façade of the terminal allowing natural light to filter through. On the interior, the terminal is characterized by distinctive white conical supporting columns that rise to touch the roof at a cathedral-like scale. The focal point of the design is the concourse located at the intersection of the building. Consisting of three levels – departure, arrivals and services – they vertically connect to create full height voids, allowing natural light to filter from the highest level down to the lowest. Studio Fuksas has created an interior, as striking and elegant as the exterior. The spatial concept is one of fluidity and combines two different ideas: the idea of movement and the idea of pause. Carefully considering the human experience of such environments, Studio Fuksas focused on processing times, walking distances, ease of orientation, crowding, and availability of desired amenities. Stand-out features of the interior design include stylized white “trees” that serve as air conditioning vents, and check-in “islands”, gates and passport-check areas with a stainless steel finish that beautifully reflect the honeycomb patterns from above. The honeycomb motif translates through into many aspects of the interior and at different scales - from the larger retail boxes to smaller 3D imprints in the wall cover.

Location: Shenzhen, China
Client: Shenzhen Airport (Group) Co.
Completion: 2013
Gross Floor Area: 500.000 m2
Cost of Construction: 734.000.000 Euros
Architects: Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas
Architect of Record: BIAD - Beijing Institute of Architectural Design
Contractor: China State Construction Engineering Corporation

Structures, Façade and Parametric Design: Knippers Helbig Engineering
Lighting: Speirs & Major Associates

Photography: © Studio Fuksas

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