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Dalian International Conference Center

Coop Himmelb(l)au

Dalian International Conference Center
By Caterina Testa -

Changes in the Economy and society leave a deep and permanent mark on cities, countryside, customs and values and on the way inhabited space is conceived.
China is today a major observatory in this regard. The last decade has witnessed a far reaching economic, social, political and cultural revolution that has hustled the country’s tightly controlled Economy into the free-market world. The resultant physical changes have been mostly concentrated in the cities that are today showcases for this ongoing upheaval.
The city of Dalian is in the southern most tip of the peninsula of Liaodong, close to the North Korean border. It is an important seaport, industrial, trading and tourist hub that is being turned inside out. The container port is being relocated away from the densely populated city and a new cruise ship harbour and Central Business District (the CBD) built on the brownfield sites. They are part of the sweeping changes Dalian will see in the next ten years.
The Dalian International Conference Center designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au will occupy the extremity of the new city extension towards the harbour, at the crossroads of the two main development axes, a fact that informs both the shape and orientation of the new building.
A landmark venue in this new city sector, the Conference Centre is designed to stand out from its surrounds, a glittering symbol for locals and international visitors alike.
Functional rationality and spaciousness are key features. The program comprises six small to medium-size conference halls and a banqueting hall, all arranged around a central space that serves as a theatre and opera house seating 1 600. The all-enveloping silver outer skin has a dual function: from the outside, it stands as the symbol of the new Dalian, a highly visible, aesthetically pleasing attraction; on the inside, it provides a single arching roof covering all the spatial divisions that include a series of intermediate spaces like...

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