Foster's Beijing airport terminal opens
Foster & Partner’s new terminal at Beijing airport has opened ahead of the 2008 Olympics.
Described by the practice as “the largest and most advanced airport building in the world”, it is 3.25km long and has been designed to take 53 million passengers a year by 2020.
Free from the restrictions of a democratic planning process, the project has been designed and built in under four years, less than the time than it took to complete the planning inquiry for Heathrow Terminal Five. At one point during construction there were 50,000 labourers on site.
The building is equivalent in area to every terminal at Heathrow plus 17%, a total of 1.3 million sq m, almost all of which is under one roof.
Norman Foster said: “This new terminal is the largest and most advanced airport building in the world - a celebration of the thrill and poetry of flight. A gateway to Beijing, it communicates a unique sense of place, its dragon-like form evoking traditional Chinese colours and symbols.”