Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport Terminal 4

Powerhouse Company as Architects

Powerhouse Company and Benthem Crouwel Architects, together with Chinese firms New Era and UAD, participated in the invited competition for the new Terminal 4 of Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport. The competition anticipates the rise of air passengers from 30 million to 70 million people, consolidating its position in the top ten of biggest airports in China. The main challenge for the design team was to provide the airport with a recognisable and welcoming terminal within the limited space and strict borders of the existing masterplan.

Grand gesture and human scale combined

The programme of requirements dictated a length of more than one kilometre and a depth of two hundred meters for the new terminal. According to Stijn Kemper, partner at Powerhouse Company, the terminal needed a grand gesture as well as a design that refers to the human scale. “We created four green areas filled with local trees, combined with large skylights in the canopy that divide the one kilometre long facade into smaller parts," Kemper explains.

"These green zones help passengers orient themselves and provide a clear division between the different entrances and areas.” Green zones

Daniel Jongtien, partner at Benthem Crouwel Architects, adds: “We were inspired by the green and advanced sustainable character of Hangzhou. The green zones are a tribute to that city; they provide moments of light and serenity in a busy and complex environment.” Spectacular approach inspired by water

Another major design theme was inspired by the concept that binds all existing terminals: water. “The footprint shape is loosely based on the shape of the West Lake’s shoreline,” Jongtien points out. “Also, the section of the roof, which is a gently shaped arch that reaches a height of 45 meters, mimics a giant wave which ensures a spectacular approach to the terminal.”

Professionalism and international scope

Powerhouse Company and Benthem Crouwel Architects are honored to have participated in this important competition. “Inviting a Dutch design team demonstrates the professionalism and international scope of the client. We are proud of the results and the excellent and inspiring corporation with our local Chinese partners. It certainly increased our interest to work on more large-scale projects in China”, concludes Stijn Kemper, whose office has recently delivered inSPORTS Beijing, an innovative multifunctional social venue with ski and snowboard simulators, a sports area and dance club.

Expertise in airport-design

The positive experience of working on the competition together has led both offices to investigate ways to continue their collaboration. Benthem Crouwel Architects’ expertise in the field of large-scale infrastructural projects is an unique asset in an international context.

The Amsterdam based firm has been the lead architect for the last 30 years of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. With 200 awards over a period of 30 years, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has been exceptionally consistent in quality and passenger satisfaction. Combined with the international expertise of Powerhouse Company, an excellent team is born.

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