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Aedas, China Northwest Architectural Design & Research Institute Co. Ltd. and Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute (Group) Co., Ltd. Won the T5 Terminal Mixed-Use Business Architectural Design

The league between Aedas, China Northwest Architectural Design & Research Institute, and Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute won the international design competition for the Port Zone Core Area Mixed-use Development adjoining Xi’an Airport’s Terminal 5. It will be focused on cementing the terminal’s place as a multi-functional aviation hub and urban living room for the historical city. 

The project is located in the east gateway area of the airport, adjacent to several national cultural relics. The 3 sq km site is rationally partitioned into six blocks to accommodate retail, hotel, office, and high-end service industry. The goal is to preserve Xi’an characteristics while creating a terminal that offers multi-functionality and transport efficiency.

The image of a green valley and flowing silk informs the overall layout. From using abstract geometric forms, the volume is obscured to harmonise with the environment. Aedas Executive Director Dong Wei Wang explains, "The project’s subtle and elegant architectural form merges seamlessly with its surroundings, and through the innovative formats it houses, it will activate the district and drive overall development."

A flowing green axis is placed at the center of the development, designed like a central canyon interwoven with nature and humanity, a lively corridor providing rich spatial experience. Under its sweeping green roof, a large-scale shopping park is set; a curved skylight flows along the rooftop like a meandering river, bringing natural lights into the shopping mall.  An aviation experience museum in the shape of a pebble is set towards the eastern entrance to welcome vehicles entering the airport.

A number of space nodes with the theme of nature such as valley, forests, waterfall, and rivers are introduced into the atrium.  With the addition of holographic projections, virtual reality elements, and overhead screen displays, it houses exhibitions, events and leisure spaces featuring diverse motifs to create an immersive cultural and shopping experience. 

The design arranges the offices, apartments, hotel and other functions in the surrounding blocks. The clean and sharp architectural contour along with the vibrant interior lends the blocks great appeal. 

The design prioritises accessibility and convenience by introducing efficient circulation pathways with bridges and corridors, and a three-dimensional multi-layer transportation system that enables seamless transfer to public transportations, ensuring users ease and comfort.

 A series of routes and connective points are catered to different types of vehicles, providing convenient transfer for the arrival and departure of tourists. The PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) system is introduced at the basement level to improve the connection between the area, the GTC (Ground Traffic Center) and the bus hub. Last but not least, the central canyon that runs through east to west is designed to reach various spaces and the nearby relic park directly. 

"The T5 Terminal Business Mixed-Use project will offer a brand-new experience and a new model for commercial complexes." — Aedas Chairman & Global Design Principal Keith Griffiths.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Xian, CN