Beijing-based MAD architects announced that they have won the contract to build the first large-scale air transportation junction for the new terminal of Changchun airport. The firm will now aim to create a green and sustainable structure that can accommodate all passenger needs.

The new site consists of 177.6 hectares with a building area of nearly 270,000 square metres and is located in Changchun, a city well known as the international, regional hub in Northeast Asia with a population of 23 million.  

Once completed, the terminal will boast 54 aircraft gates and host 22 million passengers per year.

"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," said Ma Yanson in an Instagram post, the lead behind the new project.

A three-fingered structure

According to MAD, the new terminal will adopt a "three-fingered corridor structure surrounded by arcs that will maintain a harmonious layout in its connections to other terminal areas".

Upon entering the new structure, passengers will have a view of a large, uninterrupted ground floor that provides direct access to the airport's high-speed rail, subway, road, and all methods of transportation. 

The high-speed rail station, in particular, as the most used traffic means, is set up at a distance of less than 200 metres from the main hub. To increase convenience and ease of travel, the subway hall is seamlessly integrated into the central space of the terminal building to reduce the number of transfers.

"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," write the architects in their Instagram post. 

The architecture of the new building is meant to convey the "timeless human need for connection to human and plant-life alike". That's why it features exteriors of forests, lakes, meadows, and undulating terrain, while its indoor garden system combines trees and water features that reflect the local climate. 

Furthermore, the internal garden system will be fed by natural light brought into the departure hall through the feather-shaped roof.

"The structural system continues the rhythm of the building's skin to express the logic of force transmission, which converges towards the centre together with the skylight, guiding the direction of passengers naturally," concluded the architects in their posts.

"The unique wooden ceiling also combines with the structure, skylight, and sunlight to create a dynamic interior space, all within a shape as light and airy as a feather floating in the breeze."