The Planning Exhibition Center of Liangjiang Collaborative Innovation Zone by Tanghua Architects
The Planning Exhibition Center of Liangjiang Collaborative Innovation Zone is located in the south of the Innovation Zone and to the west of Huanhu Road. It is designed to cover an area of around 16,670 square meters. The plot is a hillock, which is at a high point of the Innovation Zone’s 6.8-square kilometer core area. To the east of the site is a cliff, below which there lies Mingyue Lake and its surrounding ecological belt.
The Circular Hall
The planning exhibition center serves the functions of reception, exhibition, communication and office as the “living room” of the Innovation Zone. The visiting circulation starts from a bamboo forest at Yuanqu Road. The first floor of the main building involves nothing else but an exhibition hall that showcases the master plan models of the Innovation Zone. The building is presented as a perfect circle in plan, whilst its varying roof heights indicate internal programmatic divisions.
The building is a formal representation of Jialing River and Yangtze River, perched on one side of the hillock and adopting the form of a stilted structure that is local to the Chongqing region. Adjacent to a cliff, the office area, meeting room and café are located below the round hall, offering stunning views of an open lake. A vertical cylindrical structure provides vital support for efficient access and service circulation throughout the building.
The architects leveraged a sectional design approach to create a building in the shape of a vertical garden. y refining the functions of the building, the team not only fully integrated the building with the surrounding landscape but also established a deeper relationship between the main exhibition hall and the intricacies of the architectural form, thus to avoid the fate of being a monotonous envelope architecture.
Photo © MMCM Studio
Liangjiang/Twin Rivers (Jialing River and Yangtze River)
The architects incorporated the shape of confluence into the building’s design as the guiding formal structure. This form overlaps with the circular plan of the main hall with varying roof heights signifying three distinct internal zones: a high-ceilinged exhibition area, a mountain-shaped exhibition platform, and an exhibition wall area.
As entering the exhibition hall, they will follow the “flow” of the rivers and get closer to the city’s future featured on the map of Liangjiang New Area. The visual language of the “flowing rivers” defines the spatial expression of the main exhibition hall and the vertical structure of the entire building. The vertical traffic is placed at the ends of the “riverways”. Each floor is provided with a cantilevering platform, with the largest one protruding outwards for approximately 12 meters. Standing at the center of the exhibition hall, visitors can clearly perceive the iconic shape of the Yuzhong peninsula.
Photo © Rudy Dong
The Sculptural Form
The facade design is generated by the form of the two-river-confluence. Fair-faced concrete panels are used as the primary material for the facades, creating a consistent architectural image with a rustic texture. The facade panels follow a standard module of 4.3 meters, which reduces the number of molds required and improves construction efficiency. This also helps to control the placement and size of the openings on the facade, creating a simple and unified texture that accentuates the changes in the architectural form.
The team ultimately decided to adopt a vertical groove pattern with 50-millimeter-wide intervals presenting a rough and even textures, expressing the architectural form with more clarity. During the final stages of construction, the design team utilized concrete sealers to adjust and control the overall color of the building, thereby providing more tolerance to color discrepancies between the panels due to supply-side and construction-side causes.
The visitors’ circulation creates spatial rhythms in the context of a rich and marvelous landscape. Visitors experience a sense of compression as they traverse a narrow path through the towering bamboo forest before entering the planning exhibition center. This experience acts as the prelude to the expansive view of Mingyue Lake. Upon reaching the entrance of the exhibition center via a leading bridge, visitors pass through a small private gate with a height of only 2.1 meters before they’re greeted by a 19-meter-high exhibition hall.
After visiting the main exhibition hall, visitors continue through a 4-meter-wide winding exhibition hall along the stairway, leading to an open rooftop terrace. The alternating sense of compression and expansion, looseness and density, creates distinct layers of view and enrich the visitors’ experience in an otherwise small and confined site.
Perched on the southern hilltop, the building takes on the form of a traditional stilted structure, leaning against the hill, forming interior spaces and viewing platforms at different altitudes.
The shape of the hill is also integrated into the building’s design, resulting in a multi-leveled space. The rooftop terrace, which offers stunning views, is connected to a walking trail on the hilltop, making it part of a larger landscape system. The walking trail system is linked to the entrance terrace and the viewing terrace, making the building a public platform and a hub for the larger landscape system.
It has been over a year since the exhibition center was in operation. As the vegetation at the site grow lusher, the design team’s initial vision of the building-nature relationship has been realized. In the picturesque landscape with mountain and lake views, the light-grey exhibition center sits on the hilltop in an elegant, simple and restrained yet eye-catching manner. It stands as a companion and witness to the city of innovation, a land where technology, culture and nature intertwine.
Location: Chongqing, China
Architect: Tanghua Architects
Chief architect: Tang Hua
Design Team: Dai Qiong, Zheng Qing, Wang Pengfu, Yang Yuan, Yan Peiqi, Tang Mengchan, Liu Huawei, Zheng Chenxi, Wang Tianhao
Construction drawings: CMCU Engineering Co., Ltd.
Landscape design: Yimu Qianjue Landscape Design Co., Ltd.
Floodlighting design: Beijing Puri Lighting Design Co., Ltd.
Exhibition design: Silkroad Visual Technology Co., Ltd.
EPC: China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Group Co., Ltd., CMCU Engineering Co., Ltd.
Client: Chongqing Liangjiang Collaborative Innovation Zone Construction Investment & Development Co., Ltd.
Area: 5,190.45 m2
Completion time: December 2022
Photographs: MMCM Studio, Rudy Dong, Courtesy of SUNSHINE