fun at airport

It’s fairly safe to say that airports are not necessarily everyone’s favorite places to be. There’s often traffic to fight through just to get there, and once inside you have to deal with long lines, painfully slow security checks, and weary travelers who hang their undergarments on the chairs at the gate. In short, airports, especially international hubs, are severely crowded and no fun.

China is setting up to deal with those crowds, however, and is working hard to make its newest airport somewhere that people don’t immediately want to leave. Designs for what will be the biggest airport in the world have recently been unveiled, and it looks like the new gateway to Beijing will be a thing of real beauty.

▼ One tiny section of the outside plan for the new airport.

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Try not to think about China’s reputation for questionable workmanship and odd buildings for a moment, because these days, what with the growing economy and all, the country has been stepping up its architectural game and willing to splash out. After making a good impression with her beautiful Galaxy SOHO building in downtown Beijing, renowned Iraqi-British architect Dame Zaha Hadid (who also did the London Aquatic Center for the 2012 Summer Olympics) has returned to China to design the new behemoth of an airport.

▼ Hadid’s impressive Galaxy SOHO.

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The new airport has yet to be officially named, but people have tentatively been calling it Daxing International Airport, as it is being built in the Daxing District, which is a little more than 40 km (30 miles) from the center of Beijing.

▼ But we think they should name it “Orange Asterisk.”

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But back to how huge this thing will be.

The world’s current biggest airports have six runways. Daxing will, eventually, have seven. On top of that, it is being built to accommodate 100 million passengers per year, which is nearly 6 million more than the current busiest airport in the world. But why build such a behemoth of a building when you already have the huge Beijing Capital International Airport on the other side of the city?

Despite recent renovations, becoming the second-busiest airport in the world has Beijing Capital maxed out, so Daxing is swooping in to save the day. The first phase of construction has already begun and is expected to finish by fall 2018. This section of the airport will only support a meagre 45 million passengers per year, but it will take a lot of strain off of Beijing Capital. The rest of the airport is due to be finished by 2025.

▼ You wouldn’t want to get lost in here, since you’d definitely miss your flight.

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 Architect Zaha Hadid, known for her smooth, curved work, has created a starship-like design for the new airport. Along with its futuristic appearance, it will also be technologically advanced, sustainable and will easily able to adapt to changes in traffic throughout the day.

The airport will also be interlaced with a high-speed train connecting it to the city. The plan is that transport from the city to the airport will contribute to making the area an even bigger transportation hub.

▼ Having a seamless trip from the city to the airport is every traveler’s dream.

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The huge, curvy airport is years away from completion, but when it is finished, it is sure to make a huge impact on air travel throughout all of Asia, if not the world. Plus, it’s going to be really cool looking! We might fly to China just to see the airport.

*On a side note: Also look for Hadid’s work on the new Japan National Stadium, being built for the 2020 Olympics. 

Sources: SkyNews via Gizmodo Japan
Images: Flickr (Scott), Wikimedia Commons (Amazingloong, snowyowls), Zaha Hadid Architects