Grimshaw has won an international competition for the Shenzhen Airport East Integrated Transport Hub with a design inspired by mangrove trees.


The terminal building, which will connect Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport with the city’s high-speed rail network, will feature an undulating canopy rooted to the ground by branching columns in a design that takes its cues from Shenzhen’s mangrove trees.

“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,” says Grimshaw Partner Jolyon Brewis.


“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,” he adds. “We hope it will lift the spirits of millions of Shenzhen citizens, as well as those who visit this incredible city.”


Mangroves are one of the most effect carbon absorbers, thought to sequester four times more carbon than rainforests, and symbolic of the project’s aim to achieve LEED Platinum and Chinese 3 Star rating for sustainability as part of the brief for a “safe, green, intelligent and humanistic” building.


Grimshaw will deliver the project as part of a team comprising consultants Mott MacDonald, China Aviation Planning and Design Institute, Beijing Urban Construction Design and Development Group, structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann Partner, environmental design consultants Atelier Ten and landscape architect Gross Max.

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