Kris Yao | Artech - Nanjing Shangqinhuai International Cultural Exchange Center, an ideal location to appreciate the beauty of the wetlands
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Nanjing Shangqinhuai International Cultural Exchange Center, an ideal location to appreciate the beauty of the wetlands

Kris Yao | Artech

Culture  /  Completed
Kris Yao | Artech

Nanjing Shangqinhuai International Cultural Exchange Center is situated adjacent to Shangqinhuai Wetland Park, renowned for its rich natural landscape and serving as the city’s green lungs.

Inspired by the beauty of the surrounding rivers, the conference hall incorporates simple forms and façade materials to create an architectural design that blends the natural and the contemporary elements. It cleverly combines the use of stone, glass, and customized aluminum panels. The exhibition center, on the other hand, takes the form of a ring of masonry split into pieces, symbolically interpreting the concept of “coexisting with nature; erosion by water”.

This international cultural exchange center serves three major functions: an exhibition center, a conference hall and an auxiliary hotel. The site is divided into northern and southern parts, and shares the same entrance avenue with the wetland park. The main challenge was to integrate the building mass with the natural environment. To the north of the entrance, the conference hall is comprised of a series of interconnected spaces, linked together by a circulation belt. On the southern side, the ring-shaped exhibition center acts as the connection between natural landscape and human activities. The organic shape of the building harmoniously blends with the surrounding wetland, creating a fitting architectural presence.

The site is surrounded by dense rivers and ponds, with the adjacent Shangqinhuai wetland being the nearest large-scale ecological park to the city. The design aims to minimize the construction impact on the environment. During the initial phase, efforts were made to preserve the existing water ponds. Smaller or fragmented ponds were connected to form a complete water network, flowing in and out of the architectural volume. This not only creates a harmonious water system but also contributes to the conservation of the natural ecosystem by increasing the unobstructed water area. Additionally, recycled rainwater is utilized for watering the gardens, and solar panels are installed on the hotel roof to generate hot water.

The design aims to provide spatial flexibility for various activities, fulfilling the social and cultural function as an international cultural exchange center. The building complex also takes full advantage of its surrounding environment to develop a unique and poetic architectural language.

The conference hall accommodates three different scales of conference rooms and accessory facilities, in response to varying needs and to increase usage efficiency. The south-facing viewing corridor of the exhibition center features large windows overlooking the vast wetland, and the gallery space are arranged to have the flexibility for operation.

On top of integrating with nature, the architectural design also demonstrates a touch of future and technology. The exhibition center is composed of arc-shaped masonry blocks that join together to form a ring. Since the mass is circumscribed by water that also makes its way into the courtyard, the entrance is via a footbridge from the north. This arrangement reflects one of the guiding principles behind the design—“coexistence with nature, and erosion by water.”

A similar language was employed for the conference hall’s main spaces, which gracefully curve around the circular hotel to its side. The sinuous forms and varied materials of these buildings break up their mass within the natural setting, providing an ideal location where one can appreciate the beauty of the wetlands.

“We are very pleased with the high rating of the Nanjing Shangqinhuai International Cultural Exchange Center as one of the premier large-scale exhibition venues in Nanjing. The conference center has a remarkable utilization rate. Being situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it provides a comfort and pleasant environment for hosting large events. We are delighted to be stationed here, right next to the Wetland Park, and we take great pride in this project.”


 90290 mq
 Kris Yao
 Wen-Hong Chu, Fei-Chun Ying, Shih-Kuo Yang, Wei Zheng, Yuan-Tao Li, Zhou Wang, Beatrice Liu, Chen-Fei Muo, An-Li Hu, Peng Wang, Grace Lin, Chih-Yu Lu, Young Kang, Adam Su


KRIS YAO | ARTECH is an Asia-based architectural firm with offices in Taipei and Shanghai. Established in 1985 by Kris Yao (Hon. FAIA), the internationally renowned firm is one of the most influential professional practices in Asia. The firm’s portfolio demonstrates years of practice in cultural, corporate, commercial, hospitality, educational, transportation, performing arts centers, residential, and spiritual spaces, among others. The team’s philosophy strives to achieve excellence in design, finding ways to employ innovative yet appropriate technologies, in order to create poetic architectural spaces that integrate cultural significance and a sense of scale and belonging.


#Finalist #China  #Aluminum  #Stone  #Glass  #Cultural center  #Nanjing  #Exhibition  #Kris Yao | Artech  #Conference centre  #Stone façade 

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