19 APR 2021


A design consortium led by Grimshaw, alongside Mott MacDonald, China Aviation Planning and Design Institute (AVIC CAPDI) and Beijing Urban Construction Design and Development Group (BJUCD) has been selected as the winner of an international competition for Shenzhen Airport East Integrated Transport Hub. The multi-disciplinary design team also includes schlaich bergermann partner (sbp), Atelier Ten and Gross Max. 

Sponsored by China National Railway Corporation Limited and Shenzhen Municipal People's Government, the project is undertaken by Shenzhen Metro Corporation Limited as the tenderer. 

The Grimshaw-Mott MacDonald team was announced as the winner following an assessment by a bid evaluation committee of thirteen experts in urban planning and design, architectural design, aviation, railway, urban rail, and integrated transportation.

The brief called for an aspirational vision to create an integrated intermodal transport hub to act as a new urban gateway and landmark for the Greater Bay Area. It also set out the need to be safe, green, intelligent and humanistic, integrating the latest technologies to set a new benchmark for similar projects around the world.

The winning proposal will improve the journeys of thousands of daily commuters– providing effortless transfers between high speed rail and other public transport modes. The hub will also provide connections and terminal facilities for passengers travelling to and from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, making it one of the most integrated transport interchanges in the world. 

The transport interchange will be a catalyst for the transformation of the whole east terminal area into a vibrant, people oriented new commercial and cultural district for Shenzhen. The master plan has been designed to promote active travel through provision of intuitive routes, active frontages and enriching landscape features. 

The project will be an example of environmental sustainability and will achieve LEED Platinum and Chinese 3 Star rating through a highly economic architectural and engineering solution that uses materials efficiently and maximises repetition of components.

The design takes its inspiration from the Mangrove, a tree that has special significance for the city of Shenzhen and is one of the planet’s most effective carbon absorbers. The team developed a strong set of design principles enabling a harmonious and unique development delivering operational, experiential and ecological excellence.

The natural form of the tree’s diverse root eco-system, which thrives where waterways converge, inspired the journey passengers will take, both above and below ground, landside and airside, while its bio-diversity will be in harmony with the hub’s exciting mix of uses.

Anne Kerr, Mott MacDonald China managing director said: “We are delighted our team has been selected to contribute to the next generation of travel within this exciting area – which is an important hub and connection in terms of people and goods. We are passionate about the development of integrated transport solutions that deliver better social outcomes through greater connectivity. By combining our global and local expertise in aviation, surface transport and the built environment, this project is a unique opportunity to create a world class, sustainable and passenger – centric hub that supports the continued development of the Greater Bay Area – and one that we are honoured to be part of.”

Jolyon Brewis, Grimshaw partner said: “We are often inspired by the transfer of geometries and forms from nature into architecture. We have applied this approach to the master plan and interchange design at Shenzhen Bao’an Airport which is directly inspired by the mangrove tree. Not only does this have symbolic value as an important tree to Shenzhen, but it has led us to a solution for the building that is highly efficient. It will also be a wonderful place for people to occupy and travel through. We hope it will lift the spirits of millions of Shenzhen citizens, as well as those who visit this incredible city.”

Dave Richards, Atelier Ten director said: “We are thrilled to be a part of this fantastic team designing such a significant and aspirational piece of transport infrastructure for Shenzhen. This competition winning proposal builds on work that we have been doing with the team at Grimshaw for many years on biophilia, form and skin to manage comfort and expectations through the manipulation of light, sun and air in the in-between spaces that transport interchanges generate. The evocation of biophilic influence through the underlying mangrove forms serves to reinforce the connection to nature in this very busy city. We look forward to developing and evolving this LEED Platinum project with Grimshaw and the rest of the team in the months ahead.”


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