|Manning, M.; Falter, H.; Henley, R.; Cross, P.; Asaoka, Y.; Kerry, J.; Dallard, P.; Kwok, M.; Ho, G.; Delaney, R.|
|Between October 2003 and July 2004, Arup, in a joint venture with the Dutch airport planners NACO and the architects Foster & Partners, designed the Terminal and Ground Transportation Centre needed for the 2008 Olympic games at Beijing Airport. Work commenced on site in March 2004 and ended almost four years later with the opening ceremony in February 2008. This was the team's third airport together, the forerunners being Stansted Airport, London, in the late 1980s and Chek Lap Kok Airport, Hong Kong, in the late 1990s. For each terminal the basic engineering diagram is similar.|
The design of airport terminals is predominantly influenced by functionality. Externally, they are constrained by the movements of land transportation systems on one side and aircraft on the other. Internally, large numbers of people and baggage must flow from entrances to departure gates or arrivals gates to exits. Both the non-public areas, like the baggage-handling facilities, and the public areas need column-free spaces to provide maximum flexibility and unimpeded passenger flow.
Forces in roofs and floors increase with the square of the span and result in large member sizes, but these must be limited because the overall height of airport facilities is restricted. Furthermore, a deep roof structure will impair the ability for natural light to pass through the roof into the building's interior. Both requirements can only be achieved with a carefully integrated design.
Airport terminals are characterized by the fact that the climatic and other physical conditions for which they must be designed vary across the world. For example, whereas Chek Lap Kok had to withstand typhoon wind loads and is located in a subtropical climate, Beijing is in an active seismic zone and experiences large seasonal temperature fluctuations. However, they must be able to accommodate the same aeroplanes worldwide while exhibiting their own form with respect to geometry, modularity, repetition and the use of information technology in the design, analysis, specification and fabrication.
Today, fabrication technology is changing rapidly thanks to the application of computerized analysis and fabrication methods in engineering. This in turn influences the structural concept and design. A manifestation of this is illustrated below.