MAD reveals design for Lishui Airport with swooping "bird-like" roof


Chinese architecture studio MAD has unveiled its design for the Lishui Airport in China, which will feature a swooping white roof informed by soaring birds.

Perched on a hilly terrain 15 kilometres outside the city centre, the domestic airport will be the first to service the city of Lishui.

Lishui Airport was informed by the shape of birds

A swooping roof rising up to almost 24 metres will cascade over the 12,100-square-metre airport, created for an expected one million annual passengers.

MAD said it designed Lishui Airport as a “spiritual landmark” for the city.

Airport in China by MAD
A white roof will swoop over the airport

“Covering 2,267 hectares of land with a maximum fill height difference of nearly one hundred meters, the airport adopts a large silver-white overhanging roof resembling a white-feathered bird ready to soar,” said MAD.

“The bird-like form absorbs the elevation changes and merges the airport into the mountains, making the airport a spiritual landmark in the region.”

Swooping white roof over an airport
It will be the first airport in Lishui

Located in China’s southwest Zhejiang Province, MAD also drew on the surrounding mountain landscape for the design.

“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,” said MAD.

“Lishui is a garden city, and her airport should also be in a garden,” added studio founder Ma Yansong.

“As a municipal airport, Lishui Airport embodies the essence of transportation facilities as a public space, prioritising convenience, human scale, and city identity over sheer size and extravagance.”

Airport in China with a white roof
A raised skylight will extend across the centre of the roof

The airport will have a curved interior finished in wood, with an elongated leaf-shaped skylight that will rise from the centre of the building to let natural light in.

It will be spread over two levels designed to optimise passenger movement. Departure spaces will be located on the ground floor with waiting areas on the mezzanine first floor, and the airport will also feature a sunken car park.

Wood interior of Lishui Airport in China by MAD
The airport will have a wood interior

Construction on Lishui Airport is underway and it is expected to be completed at the end of 2024.

Elsewhere in China, MAD completed the revamp of a sunken train station in Jiaxing and released its design for an arts centre on the waterfront in Guangdong.

Images are courtesy of MAD.



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