What is being hailed as the world’s largest building – the Foster & Partners-designed new terminal at Beijing Capital International Airport – opens today.
The 1.3 million m2 space occupied by the terminal and ground transportation centre is located between the existing eastern runway and a future third runway.
According to Foster & Partners, it is the first building to break the million square metre barrier, and will accommodate an estimated 50 million passengers every year by 2020.
Foster & Partners claims the terminal building is one of the world’s most sustainable, incorporating a range of ‘passive environmental design concepts’.
Features such as the terminal’s south-east orientated skylights have been designed to maximise heat gain from the early morning sun, while an integrated environment control system aims to minimise energy consumption.
Despite its size, the terminal has been designed to uses less land and avoid sprawl by bringing the building’s components together to create ‘a more efficient structure’.
According to Foster & Partners, the building is still 17 per cent bigger than the combined floor space of all of Heathrow’s terminals, including the new Terminal 5.