A gigantic building 3.25 km long and an area of 1.3 million square meters. m, designed by Norman Foster, opened ahead of schedule. The entire design and construction process took four years. At the same time, this is the largest building in the world, the first to overcome the bar of 1 million square meters. m.
The new terminal was built for the XXIX Olympic Games, which will be held this year in Beijing, but it will be able to show its maximum capacity only by 2020, when 50 million passengers a year will pass through it.
It consists of three volumes located on the same axis - sub-terminals T3A, T3C (local flights) and T3B (international flights). This elongated layout maximized the perimeter of the building, making it possible to park the largest number of aircraft. Arrivals and departures are located at different levels; the traditional location has been reversed in T3B so that foreigners arriving in Beijing can appreciate the scope of the terminal complex, immediately being on its top tier. To quickly get from one end of the building to the other, passengers can use an automatic transport system that moves at a speed of up to 80 km / h: the journey takes no more than 2 minutes. Its line runs along the central axis of the building, along the landscaping line designed by landscape architect Michel Devin. The T3 complex also includes the Ground Transportation Center where you can catch a train to Beijing.
The terminal's formal solution is reminiscent of traditional Chinese architecture: a red and gold scale, a sharp bend in the floors, a general silhouette that makes it look like a huge dragon.
Along with the visual appeal and clear and convenient layout, the new building is distinguished by a high level of resource efficiency. All of its rooms are illuminated by the sun through glazed sections in the steel roof and through glass curtain walls. The windows in the ceilings are oriented so that they give maximum access to the sun's rays inside only in the early morning to avoid overheating the building. By combining all the functional parts of the terminal under one roof, it was possible to save land used for construction. Nevertheless, its usable area is still 17% larger than the total size of all terminals at London Heathrow Airport - including the yet unopened 5th, designed by former Foster associate Richard Rogers.