The Home of China Eastern Airlines

Project details

Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai, China

245 000m²

China Eastern Airlines


Project description

China Eastern Airlines is one of the world’s major airlines and wanted their new headquarters located at Hongqiao airport in Shanghai to reflect that. The new complex, including interior public areas and surrounding parklands, are designed by NIELSTORP+ architects while the engineering is done by ARUP and construction drawings by local architectural firm ECADI.

The complex totaling approximately 245.000m² has a varied program containing:

  • Office workplace for 12.000 employees.
  • Hotel with approx. 400 rooms.
  • Operation centre for monitoring and preparation of the flights,
  • Operation centre as a terminal for the crew, where they prepare for the flights.
  • Training centre.

The square-shaped site is defined by the terminal pier and surrounding office buildings. The site is transformed into a green oasis suited for people by establishing a parkland, with clusters of trees as the outer boundary. Within this square-shaped boundary, we placed the China Eastern Airline village, a series of connected buildings with an amorphous and undulating outline.

An dynamic shaped park emerges as a result of the space between this square outer boundary and the undulating outline of the CEA village.

The CEA village consists of horse shoe shaped buildings organized around the central atrium, with “streets” and bridges between them. Just like an ordinary village with a central plaza, roads and lanes. The atriums constitute the hearth and the central “living rooms” of the company, where people meet and ideas made.

The atrium is split in two by the main road. The major internal  communication routes circles around – and connects the two parts  of this atrium – via bridges. The wings of the buildings spread out in the form of a star. This gives short and efficient communication routes.

Most villages have a monumental building placed in the midst of the plaza. The CEA village will have one tower in each of the two atriums that complements each other and holds the village together visually. The towers contain meeting centers. The north tower has a corporate management club on the top floors.

To bring light, air and sight-lines into the village the mass of the buildings slopes into the centre.