Set as the world's highest-altitude civilian airport (three miles above sea level), after full operation, Daocheng Yading Airport of Sichuan will dramatically cut travel time in the remote region in southwestern China.
Situated in one of the largest ancient glaciers of Tibet Plateau, the airport was completed in September 2013 and covers 50,740-square-foot of built-up area. The project includes flight terminals, air traffic control building, cargo storage warehouse, airport office building, fire control building, gas station, etc.
Frank Lloyd Wright once said, "I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain." With respect to the unique "moon-surface-like" land of the existing site, our design goal is to create an architecture that carries the local cultural history while preserving the original character of the surrounding nature.
Inspired by "Khata," the Tibetan iconic ceremonial scarf, the amenity buildings form a dynamic shape like two pieces of silk surrounding the airport. To follow and maintain the land character of the site, part of the structure is merging into the Haizi hill. It didn’t only help the building to adjust to the high-altitude climate, but also symbolized the traditional Tibetan architecture. Sitting on top of the amenity buildings, the form of the airport is designed to mimic a flying disk, which creates a great visual contrast between the light and heavy.