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Arial view of Hong Kong International Airport showing the Y-shape of passenger terminal 1  ©Pacific Century Publishers Ltd; Arial view of Hong Kong International Airport showing the Y-shape of passenger terminal 1  ©Pacific Century Publishers Ltd;

Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1, Hong Kong

Designed with flexibility for future expansion in mind.

The structure is divided into a passenger reception area and an aircraft handling unit. Moving walkways and escalators aid passenger movement through the 516,000m², 1.2km-long building and a 'people mover' system assists passengers flying from remote gates.

Passenger flow and shape of the building led to the selection of parallel circular section vaults for the 14,000t roof, based on a diagonal grid. These unify the structure and are helpful for orientation within the processing building.

Project Summary


35m passengers per year

14,000troof

1.2km-longbuilding

Unique roof design

The roof was designed to accommodate both welded and bolted connections; the first stage was fully welded and the first extension fully bolted. The wishbone-bearing connection between the roof and the wall can accommodate 150mm of movement in any direction, setting an industry standard.

Splitting the roof into modules reduced the number of details to be designed and also provided the client with flexibility to review their requirements during design, construction and operation. This was essential to meet the challenging fast-track programme.


Designed in the run up to Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, the terminal building was opened in July 1998. The terminal was designed with flexibility for future expansion in mind and has been extended three times to meet growing passenger capacity.

Selected Award

  • Tien Yow Jeme Prize, 2002 
  • British Construction Industry, 1998 
  • Hong Kong Institute of Architects, 1998
  • Hong Kong Institute of Architects, 1998