Location: Shenzhen, China
Client: Shenzhen Planning Bureau of the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Shenzhen Airport (Group) Co., Ltd
Date: 2007 Restricted Competition
Total Area: 400,000m2
Budget: €112 million
FOA Partner in charge: Alejandro Zaera-Polo
Project Architect: Daniel Spreier
Design Team: Nana Chen, Kelvin Chu, Sukyeong Kim, Takeru Sato, Christof Trenner, Changho Yeo
Our proposal for the new International Airport in Shenzhen aimed to create a building that not only achieved the highest efficiency in terms of functional and energy performance, but also created an important icon for Shenzhen City. We wanted the building to resonate with Shenzhen’s culture and iconographies, both old and new. A series of images – including woven bamboo, sea ripples and floating forms of the ribbon in traditional Chinese dance – inspired our iconographic strategies. Our investigations began trying to embed into the project the sinusoidal, organic geometry of these references, introducing a repetitive, sinusoidal form to the envelope of the building. The constantly expanding and contracting spaces have the effect of reducing the scale of the airport into smaller spaces, breaking the monotony of the large corridors and vast concourses that are commonplace in airports.
The building was designed as a shredded tubular envelope which contains all the passenger levels. The envelope spans the full width of the departures level, with a typical structural section constituting a 42m long-span tri-articulated truss-arch that doubles as a skylight. The bridges have been shaped as extensions of the system of roof bands. The primary factor in designing the building’s envelope geometry has been the incidence of the sun onto the building, particularly during the summer season when heat gains may be substantial. We have used the solar path to set the orientation of the skylights and shading canopies of the building. The resulting asymmetrical roof system provides a sequential opening of the concourse to the sky without the need for shading devices or diffusers. This envelope would produce a unique experience, where travelers are able to catch glimpses of the sky and the planes flying above the building.