Beijing Daxing International Airport

Beijing, China

Buro Happold was part of the consortium tasked with designing the Beijing Daxing International Airport. The concept was for an impressive 700,000m2 terminal that is user focused, energy efficient, and built with the flexibility to sustain future growth.

Exterior view of road leading to Beijing Airport
Designed to support the world’s fastest growing aviation sector, the new airport will accommodate 72 million passengers by 2025. Image: Hufton + Crow


It was essential to deliver a design that allowed passengers to move easily and intuitively around the vast new terminal. Adaptability and sustainability were also key drivers. The airport has been designed to accommodate 45 million passengers per year at the time of opening, rising to 75 million in future years. Our client also wanted to ensure the terminal was a welcoming and inspiring place for passengers, characterised by open and expansive interiors.

Interior view of Beijing Airport
The ventilated double facade insulates in winter, and cools in summer. Image: Hufton + Crow


We worked extremely closely with the architect to integrate the engineering design into the architectural form, allowing us to render the spacious areas desired by our client and resulting in a terminal that is at once highly functional and aesthetically beautiful.

Environmental drivers played a key role in the development of our concept. We incorporated numerous passive elements into the design, including shading strategies, high performance glazing, and carefully placed roof lights that optimise the energy performance of the terminal. These solutions will result in a predicted 50% reduction in overall energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

The vaulted roof spaces let light flood into the terminals, reducing electricity use. Image: Hufton + Crow
The stunning new Daxing International Airport, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Its design improves passenger experience with its reduced distances to the gates. Image: Hufton + Crow

The terminal roof incorporates fresh air intakes and return air ducts. Tempered air is supplied at low level to cool the people not the space, minimising energy use and increasing comfort.

The radial design of the terminal features a central hub from which six curved spikes extend, which reduces the distance passengers will need to travel to reach their gate to a maximum 600 metres and ensures this huge building is easy to navigate.


The strength of the collaboration between our engineers and the architect allowed us to take a highly creative approach to the brief, developing a design for Beijing Daxing International Airport that delivers added value to our client, and an iconic aviation facility for the city.

Aerial view of Beijing Daxing International Airport
Image: Getty Images
Interior view of people walking through Beijing Airport

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