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Alpine Birds: MAD Architects' Forthcoming Lishui Airport

Project name:
Lishui Airport
Architecture firm:
MAD Architect
Lishui, China
MAD Architect
Principal architect:
MA Yansong, DANG Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Design team:
SUN Shouquan, ZHANG Xiaomei, LEI Lei, YANG Xuebin, SUN Mingze, YIN Jianfeng, Punnin Sukkasem, ZHU Yuhao, ZHANG Yaohui, Alan Rodríguez Carrillo, Pittayapa Suriyapee, WANG Xinyi
Associate Partners in Charge: LIU Huiying, Kin Li. Executive Architects: CAAC NEW ERA AIRPORT DESIGN INSTITUTE COMPANY LIMITED. Façade Consultant: RFR Shanghai
Interior design:
Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Decoration & Landscape Design Research Institute CO., Ltd
Built area:
12,100 m²
Site area:
2,267 hectares
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Z’scape Landscape Planning and Design
Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Decoration & Landscape Design Research Institute CO., Ltd
Tools used:
Lishui Airport Construction Headquarters
Under Construction
Transportation › Airport

MAD Architects announces the design for the upcoming construction of Lishui Airport in Zhejiang Province.

Lishui, a "forest city" in southwest Zhejiang Province, is renowned for its lush greenery and valleys. Its first airport is positioned as a domestic regional airport with an anticipated annual passenger throughput of one million, located in the hilly terrain that 15 kilometers southwest of the city. The planning and design try to respect the original site while ensuring accessibility, highlighting the characteristics of a mountain airport, and aiming to inspire tourism.

Ma Yansong, the founder of MAD Architects stated, “Lishui is a garden city, and her airport should also be in a garden. As a municipal airport, Lishui Airport embodies the essence of transportation facilities as a public space, prioritizing convenience, human scale, and city identity over sheer size and extravagance.”

Covering 2,267 hectares of land with a maximum fill height difference of nearly 100 meters, the airport adopts a large silver-white overhanging roof resembling a white-feathered bird ready to soar. The bird-like form absorbs the elevation changes and merges the airport into the mountains, making the airport a spiritual landmark in the region.

Internally, the warm wood-toned finish and a shuttle-shaped skylight facilitate energy efficiency and create a seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces. The one-and-a-half-floor terminal layout optimizes passenger flow, with departure facilities located on the ground floor and waiting areas situated on the second floor. A central landscape path in the sunken parking lot further enhances connectivity of passenger and the space.

Anticipating future growth, the airport's design accommodates increasing passenger numbers, forecasting 1.8 million passengers by 2030, 5 million by 2050, and an additional international terminal in plan.

Construction of the Lishui Airport will be completed and operational by the end of 2024.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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