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Zaha misses out in race for Chengdu airport job

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France’s ADP Ingenieri (ADPI) has defeated Zaha Hadid Architects in the competition for Chengdu’s new £7.2 billion airport

The Pritzker Prize-winner was among seven firms – including KPF and AEDAS – shortlisted for the high-profile commission in Southwest China.

Planned to complete in 2020, the project will create a second airport for the burgeoning city around 50 kilometres from the existing Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. 

Backed by Sichuan Province Airport Group, the new facility will feature three runways and is expected to initially handle around 40 million passengers a year. Later expansion will see passenger numbers increase to 90 million annually.

The shortlist

  • ADP Ingenieri (ADPI), China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute, China Airport Construction Group Corporation
  • AEDAS, Architectural Design and Research Institute of Guangdong Province
  • ARUP, TieErYuan, Shanghai Civil Aviation Airport Design and Research Institute
  • KPF, East China Architectural Design and Research Institute
  • XiaoJianZhu, China Aviation Planning and Construction Development
  • Zaha Hadid Architects, Mott Macdonald, Beijing Architectural Design Institute
  • Grimshaw, AVIC, Buro Happold, Airbiz and BNP Associates

    Shortlisted: Zaha Hadid Architects, Mott Macdonald, Beijing Architectural Design Institute

    Concept by Zaha Hadid, Mott Macdonald, Beijing Architectural Design Institute

Last year ZHA was hired to work alongside ADPI on Beijing’s £9 billion Daxing airport - despite failing to make the shortlist in the original contest for the enormous job.

ADPI’s latest winning scheme was described by judges as ‘fashionable, adaptable and preferable functionally and economically.’ The design is based on a Sunbird which is the insignia of Chengdu.

Construction is expected to start within the next year.





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