A consortium led by Grimshaw Architects saw off some of biggest internationally-renowned design names to be chosen to develop a transport hub in southern Chinese city Shenzhen.

The London-based firm’s plans, which were inspired by mangrove trees, were chosen ahead of those from the likes of Zaha Hadid and Foster and Partners. In total six firms were shortlisted.

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Grimshaw’s team included engineers Mott MacDonald, the China Aviation Planning and Design Institute and the Beijing Urban Construction Design and Development Group.

Jolyon Brewis, a Grimshaw partner, said: “We are often inspired by the transfer of geometries and forms from nature into architecture. We have applied this approach to the masterplan and interchange design at Shenzhen Bao’an Airport, which is directly inspired by the mangrove.

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

The hub is designed to facilitate transfers between high-speed rail and other transport modes to routes leading to Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport. It is being funded by the China National Railway Corporation and Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government.