Beijing Capital Airport’s spanking new Terminal Three opens this Friday. The Norman Foster-designed building is being touted as the largest building in the world. And it is colossal. To give you an idea of just how big it is, the terminal is the size of 170 soccer fields put together, and that is 17 percent more floor space than all of London Heathrow’s five terminals put together! The terminal is shaped like the character 人 which means people, and its design reminds one of the dragon, complete with ‘scales’ oriented south-east to capture as much of the winter sun as possible.
Thanks to the Olympics, this year will see Beijing being catapulted into the league of the world’s busiest air hubs, alongside Atlanta, Heathrow, Tokyo Haneda and Chicago O’Hare:
Skyrocketing demand for travel in China on the back of its saw the airport handle 48 million passengers last year, far above its capacity of 35 million. This summer’s Olympics are expected to boost this number to 64 million, out of a capacity of 76 million…
Still that is unlikely to meet with demand for the next few years. A second airport is already being planned for Beijing.
AFP: Giant new airport terminal set to open in Beijing: official
The Independent: An Olympian construction: Beijing’s new departure in air travel
The Age: Sleeping dragon awakes — at world’s newest airport