Beijing Airport


Zaha Hadid Architects


Beijing, China


Sensing Places Interactive contributed concepts, technical master planning,  and interactive installations planning.

Case Study

Collaborating with Zaha Hadid Architects, Sensing Places Interactive designed multiple elements to enhance the typical airport experience and help guide weary travelers around the world’s second busiest airport.

One of the designs included a mobile application that uses augmented reality to translate signage in various languages. Our technology interacts with the airport’s digital network to provide each traveler with current flight information and personalized pathways based on gate location and travel time. The application also generated business by prompting relevant shopping discounts for many of the stores and retailers in the airport.

We also created a signature interactive lighting sculpture using an intricate variation of colored LED patterns that highlight selected architectural elements.

The sculpture is animated by slow and fluid animations that constantly appear to reshape it. Color effects are dynamically triggered by the constant passage of people through the space, detected via a dedicated computer vision software system. This work resulted from Zaha Hadid’s wish for a large scale digital chandelier as the centerpiece of a massive space.

We also extended the concept with a digital skin. Periodically, selected areas were illuminated with a bluish tint to reflect sunny daylight, a green-forest coloring to liven gray days, and red or purple mood lighting to indicate the evening. Weather sensors placed along the outer perimeter of the facility worked in tandem with the natural environment. This dynamic interactive lighting system enhanced the typical weary airport environment and offered a vibrant and pleasant experience.

Airport opening video

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