Builder reveals secret behind China’s construction power

Beijing: There are two airports in Beijing. Every time Guo Shuangchao goes on a business trip, he chooses to fly via the Beijing Daxing International Airport, nicknamed the Starfish of Beijing. That’s because he is among its builders.
Whenever his plane is about to take off or land, he cannot help giving a careful look at the airport, observing its runways, towers and corridors. “Every brick carries a lot of memories as well as a sense of achievement,” Guo told Beijing Review.
Guo is vice manager of the General Contracting Department of the Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG). He has taken part in 10 key projects in his 18-year-long career. Two of these projects are particularly impressive: the construction of the Starfish of Beijing and the Xiaotangshan Hospital in Beijing.
The ‘starfish’
The Beijing Daxing International Airport was the biggest project for Guo. The first time he entered the construction site on March 15, 2016, he found it boundless. “I had to walk at least 2 to 3 km to get to my living quarters,” Guo said.
The construction team worked on a tight schedule. Half a year after Guo’s team was stationed in the construction site, five young coworkers got married, but none asked for wedding leave. BCEG has over 30,000 employees, yet only 150 were involved in the construction. “It is a priceless opportunity to participate in a key project. Not wanting to drag their feet on the construction, they volunteered to postpone their wedding leave,” Guo said.
Guo was deeply moved and wanted to do something for his friends. “We decided to host a group wedding ceremony for them so that they all had the chance to share the unique experience with their friends,” he said.
The big day came on December 12, 2016, an auspicious date in Chinese culture. The five couples’ parents, relatives and friends were invited to the site. Grooms wore overalls and helmets.
The brides’ wedding dresses were customized. “We also provided them tailored rings modeled after the airport that you won’t see anywhere else,” Guo said. He added that when the work schedule was not too tight, the five couples took their wedding leave and enjoyed their honeymoon.
After nearly five years of hard work, the new airport was put into operation on September 25, 2019. “It’s huge and passenger-friendly,” Guo said. The airport has a radial layout. The distance between the central area and the farthest boarding gate is 600 meters of walking distance, much less than that at many other terminals, said Guo.
In addition, there is a hanging garden at the end of each waiting hall. After making their way through security, passengers can still go outdoors for a breath of fresh air. It aims to humanize the waiting time in the airport, Guo said.
– The Daily Mail-Beijing Review News exchange item