by Zohra KhanMay 09, 2023
Global architecture firm MAD Architects, in collaboration with China Airport Planning & Design Institute Co., Ltd. and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design Co., Ltd., won an international competition for the design of the Changchun 'Longjia' International Airport Terminal 3, with an idiosyncratic, organic, and 'fan-shaped' profile that resembles a 'floating feather.'
The infrastructure is set to accommodate 22 million passengers per year post-completion, becoming the biggest air transportation junction of Changchun city and the entire Jilin Province, which is one of the earliest manufacturing industrial metropolises in China with a population of 23 million. The firm founded and led by Chinese architect Ma Yansong envisions the new terminal building to add "a human-scaled space with a calming presence to the airport, both from a distance and from within."
As visitors approach the high-speed rail 'Longjia' station of the parking structure, they are greeted by the new terminal of Changchun Airport, as the first large-scale air transportation junction's unique profile, "a nod to the airplanes that will be ascending and descending from its terminals throughout the day," the Chinese architects relay.
"The future large-scale transportation junction is first of all an important public space in the city. Art, synthesis, diversity, and humanity are all important. - Ma Yansong, Founder, MAD Architects
The infrastructure's footprint encompasses 1,776,000 sqm while the total building area spans approximately 270,000 sqm and will contain 54 aircraft gates. By employing a three-fingered corridor structure surrounded by arcs, MAD Architects ensured that the Chinese architecture will maintain 'harmonious layout' in its linkage to the Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, in tandem with increasing the number of passenger seats near the aircraft. Upon entry, passengers are privy to an expansive and uninterrupted ground floor that provides direct access to the subway, automobile road and other methods of urban transportation that connect the terminal to the larger site.
Despite its hefty size, the firm ensured an airy, light-filled design for the urban transport that will ensure a human-like scale. Passengers arriving sans checked baggage to the airport will benefit from smart airport facilities such as self-service check-in machines and smart security checks. "The overall spatial layout will save land and reduce the amount of earthwork, while the roofline uses height differences to reflect the cross-connections of different transportation modes from above," mentions the design team based in Beijing.
The subway station hall is well integrated into the terminal design's central space, reducing the number of transfers between the subway and the airport by minimising the distance from the terminal entrance to the east expansion station hall of the 'Longjia' Station to be less than 200 meters. "Given that nearly one-third of passengers have entered and exited the airport via high-speed rail since 2018, the intercity railway will become an increasingly important means of inbound and outbound transportation for Changchun Airport," informs Yansong in an official release.
The city enjoys being surrounded by rich natural resources such as dense forests that are significant in northeastern China, as well as the international regional hub in Northeast Asia. The design proposal for the new terminal imbibes this charm of Changchun being a 'Garden City' vis a vis the creation of what the design team has termed as a 'garden airport', injecting sustainable design strategies.
The exterior space is thus distinguished by forests, lakes, meadows, and undulating terrain, while the indoor garden system comes alive as a symbiosis of verdant trees, ground covers, and water features that will create a 'cold zone garden' that reflects the local climate.
In their bid to create an infrastructure design that appears airy, natural light is introduced into the departure hall through the unique feather-shaped roof, creating a bright and warm interior design that provides adequate sunlight to the bountiful garden spaces inside. The contemporary architecture, with the building's rhythmic skin is continued in its structural system, "to express the logic of force transmission."
This devised structural system converges together with daylight, towards the centre of the Changchun Airport Terminal 3, becoming a wayfinding route guiding the direction of passengers almost naturally. "The unique wooden ceiling also combines with the structure, skylight and sunlight to create a dynamic interior space," Yansong adds.
"At an intimate scale, the terminal's approach to green design is a response to the timeless human need for connection to human and plant life alike; all within a shape as light and airy as a feather floating in the breeze," concludes MAD Architects in an official statement.
Name: Changchun Airport Terminal 3
Location: Changchun, Jilin Province, China
Terminal Site Area: 1,776,000 sqm
Terminal Building Area: 270,000 sqm
Client: Jilin Provincial Civil Airport Group Company
Architect: MAD Architects
Consortium: China Airport Planning & Design Institute Co., Ltd., Beijing Institute of Architectural Design Co., Ltd., MAD Architects
MAD Architects Team:MA Yansong, DANG Qun, Yosuke HAYANOLIU, Huiying, Kin LI, SUN Shouquan, SUN Mingze, SONG Minzhe, WANG Fei, LU Zihao, XIAO Yuhan, CHEN Wei, CAO Xi, Yoshio FUKUMORI
China Airport Planning and Design Institute Team:MU Tong, YAO Huilai, FENG Xiangling, SUN Yongxue, YAO Yuan, XU Junjie, ZHANG Bao, ZHANG Yan, SHEN Xin, QI Junjie, HAO Wenjia, LIU Zihao, XU Ke, LI Zhennan, FENG Mengyao, LI Xiong, ZHENG Guangshun, SHEN Yi, LU Xin, LI Henghui
Beijing Institute of Architectural Design Team: WANG Xiaoqun, SHU Weinong, WANG Yizhi, LI Shaokun, SU Yao, WU Di, WANG Yisu, WANG Bin, REN Jie, ZHANG Zhongqi, ZHANG Linyi, CHEN Lin, GU Xianliang, MU Yang, FAN Shixing, WANG Hanmo, ZHANG Shizhong, YU Xinqiao, ZHANG Shirui, PAN Ming
(Text by Aaryaa Joshi, intern at STIRworld)