China just opened the largest single-terminal airport in the world—and it will eventually be the biggest airport of any kind on the planet when it reaches full capacity.
The new Daxing International Airport is expected to handle 72 million passengers a year by 2025. Once a planned expansion is built that number will ramp up to 130 million passengers and four million tons of goods a year by 2050—which will likely beat out the current busiest airport in the world, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Daxing was designed by ADP Ingénierie, a French airport engineering firm, and world-renowned architect firm Zaha Hadid Arhitects. Instead of the usual linear terminal layout, Daxing features an innovative star-shaped structure with a multi-floor central hub connected to five wings meant to represent a phoenix. The design concentrates on domestic and international arrivals and departures on four different floors—making it a single mega-terminal. As a result, any gate of the airport is less than 600 meters away from any other—about an eight-minute walk at most. Daxing is the first airport to feature two levels for departures.
Zaha Hadid Architects showcases Daxing.
The 1.03-million square meter terminal building has 78 gates and six runways. Those gates are placed along five arms of the airport, with a sixth arm dedicated to administrative offices and parking. The multi-directional design of the runways helps improve air operation efficiency,…