Wuhan Tianhe Airport
The practice was asked to create a concept design for a new 100,000 sq m domestic terminal in Wuhan, China. The curved plan and elliptical section of the terminal building address an agenda based on efficiency of passenger flow, energy conservation and the brief’s requirement for a landmark building to help raise the international profile of Wuhan. The envelope consists of a smooth blue skin of hexagonal metal panels supported by a red tubularsteel ‘exoskeleton’. Externally, the perception is of a single, sinuous form, in stark contrast to the multiplicity of elements often associated with airport buildings. The inherently strong form allows the interior to be largely column-free and to taper gradually towards the outer ends of the piers. The design has two piers that provide 23 contact gates for aircraft ranging from Airbus A320s to Boeing 747s and will process up to 12.2 million passengers a year.