For most people, airports are a means to an end, an obligatory way station that gets them to where they want or need to go. But Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport was designed to be more than that.
“This airport is the biggest single, walkable terminal building in the world,” says Patrik Schumacher, who leads Zaha Hadid Architects, the global firm based in London tasked with designing the airport, which opened in September. “Its distinctive character is its long span roof structure which sculpts the space, draws in natural light and orients passengers to their gates.”
Schumacher was a student 30 years ago when he started working with Zaha Hadid, who passed away two years ago. He helped her build the brand to a firm of more than 400 employees. They started designing museums, cultural centers and concert halls; now the firm is also reimagining workspaces and whole city districts.
One thing that helps them stay ahead of the curve is technology.
The firm writes their own software, so Schumacher says they’re “very hungry” for new processing power in a mobile package, as they’re constantly roaming around the office, and around the world. They used to lug around heavy models to meetings. Now, they bring laptops.
“That’s why we love Acer and ConceptD’s product line,” Schumacher says. “ConceptD is helping us to visualize and simulate the experience with real time navigation through the airport. ConceptD opens a powerful window into our creations ahead of construction.”
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