Bigger than the Grand Central station, this Chinese city is getting a feather-like, fan-shaped airport terminal

Floating feathers and flights, what a wonderful metaphor! MAD Architects have chosen fine-looking feathers to be the inspiration behind the international competition for the design of Changchun’ Longjia’ International Airport Terminal 3 in China. The winning design is a sprawling 270-thousand-square-meter area highlighted by individual panels and gilded finishes. The neck of the three-pronged terminal is laced with a necklace of 54 aircraft gates welcoming flights and 22 million passengers from around the globe annually. “The terminal building was designed to add a human-scaled space with a calming presence to the airport, both from a distance and from within,” said the studio.

“As visitors approach from the high-speed rail Longjia Station or the parking structure, they will be greeted by the terminal’s unique fan-shaped profile that resembles a floating feather — a nod to the airplanes that will be ascending and descending from its terminals throughout the day.” as spectacular as the vista of the exterior is what lies beneath. The sizeable ground-floor area will be connected to the Longjia Station subway and surrounding road networks.

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The lush interiors will represent the surrounding ‘Garden City’ of Changchun to the T with a ‘cold zone garden’ of trees, ground covers, and water features. If blooming greenery adds calm to the interiors, the outdoors are captivating, owing to forests, lakes, and meadows that emulate their ecosystem.

The feather-like roof of the terminal will allow abundant sunlight for the internal gardens and create a warm milieu for passengers. “The terminal’s approach to green design at an intimate scale is a response to the timeless human need for connection to human and plant life alike,’ stated the design team, “all within a shape as light and airy as a feather floating in the breeze.” MAD will work in collaboration with China Airport Planning & Design Institute and the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design to breathe life into the futuristic and impactful design.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.