Gateway to the skies

Friday 14 Sep 2007

Foster + Partners design of Capital Airport in Beijing

When Beijing's new airport terminal opens in February it will be about twice the size and half the cost and will be planned and built in almost a third of the time. This project will be the Chinese capital's new gateway to the skies after a three and a half year timespan to construct the world's biggest airport complex for next year's Olympics.Covering 245 acres of floor space, Terminal 3 of Capital Airport is bigger than all five Heathrow terminals put together. With 66 million passengers forecasted to pass through next year, it will go from ninth to third busiest airport. The main building is similar to Lord Foster's other airports, but even more spectacular. The three buildings of Terminal 3 are home to 445 lifts, 1,800 miles of cables and a car park for 7,000 vehicles. There is a road network and a light railway under construction which ends at a terminus shaped like a giant glass turtle. At its peak the workforce numbered 50,000.Building work started on August 7 2004 and is expected to be finished by the end of this year. The public consultation alone on Heathrow's Terminal 5 took longer.

Key Facts:

Architecture
China
Civic Buildings Transport

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