China already boasts its fair share of incredible airports, including one shaped like a huge starfish and another that looks like a snowflake, but is now slated to receive another. MAD Architects has revealed plans for a large new terminal in the northeast city of Changchun that’s conceived as a floating feather.
Changchun Airport Terminal 3 will measure 270,000 sq m (roughly 2.9 million sq ft) and host 54 aircraft gates. Once fully operational, it will accommodate 22 million passengers per year and will connect to an existing high-speed rail system nearby. The idea behind its sculpted form, which admittedly doesn’t look that much like a feather to our eyes but is certainly striking, is to provide a calming experience for weary travelers.
“The terminal building was designed to add a human-scaled space with a calming presence to the airport, both from a distance and from within,” explained MAD. “As visitors approach from the high-speed rail ‘Longjia’ Station or the parking structure, they will be greeted by the terminal’s unique fan-shaped profile that resembles a floating feather — a nod to the airplanes that will be ascending and descending from its terminals throughout the day.
“By adopting a three-fingered corridor structure surrounded by arcs, the terminal will maintain an overall harmonious layout in its connections to the T1 and T2 terminal areas while increasing the number of passenger seats near the aircrafts. Upon entrance, passengers will encounter a large, uninterrupted ground floor that provides direct access to the subway, automobile road and other methods of transportation connecting the terminal to the larger site.”
The airport’s design is also influenced by Changchun’s status as one of China’s “Garden Cities” due to its large amount of greenery and will be situated on a vast 177.6-hectare (438-acre) plot with landscaping that includes forests, lakes, meadows, and undulating terrain.
While the interior won’t be quite as lush as, say Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport for example, MAD refers to it as a “Garden Airport” and it will be filled with plants and trees, as well as water features. Natural light is also a key focus and its impressive timber ceiling will host skylights.
Changchun Airport Terminal 3 was chosen following an international architecture competition and is being created in collaboration with the China Airport Planning and Design Institute and the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design Company. We’ve no word yet on when it’s expected to be completed.
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