The new Terminal 3 building at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport has recently captured everyone’s eye. The design by Rome-based architects, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, took three years and a budget of US$1 billion dollars to complete.
With an internal area of 500,000 sq. meters and a length that runs 1.5 km, the new terminal building will increase the airport’s capacity to 45 million passengers per year. With an unusual form that is very similar to the double layer skin texture of a manta-ray, the airport has three-level concourse with a roof-span of 80 meters, all wrapped in a brilliant white double-layer shell perforated with metal and glass hexagonal shapes. Theses honeycomb-shaped panels provide natural light to fill the entire terminal (which is somewhat unusual for airport terminals), and the voids between the three concourses allow the light to reach even the bottom floors.
The internal details of the terminal all harmonize with the overall design, with white tree-shaped structures that serve as air-conditioning vents and check-in islands with stainless steel gates which bear the honeycomb design. The interior is just as futuristic as the rest of the building with curving roofs and conical support columns which have a cathedral-like look. They prevent travelers from feeling depressed or as if they are locked in a terminal. The honeycomb pattern is carried out throughout the entire building so that no voluminous spaces are left hollow. The vast and open interior, according to the architects, gives a feel of fluidity while also focusing on practicalities such as processing times, walking distances, ease of orientation and crowding.
The new Shenzen Terminal building shows not only the growing prominence of the surrounding area but also of China being a country with a continuing penchant for high-end architectural design. The Shenzen Airport Group is so thoroughly delighted by the design that they have decided to copyright it. As for the two designers, they are about to be launched into the front-line of high-design transport terminals thanks to this amazing feat of architectural design. Pictures of the new terminal can be seen below.
View of the new terminal from the top
Inside the spacious and naturally lit terminal
Tree-shaped structures are used as air-conditioning vents and check-in islands
Outside the terminal
The honeycomb-pattern has been used extensively throughout the terminal
The design is both futuristic and sleek