Sculptural public facility seeks to encourage local participation and ownership of place
A single image of the studio505-designed Lotus Exhibition Centre and People’s Park on WAN’s Facebook page recently gathered more than 4,100 likes and 725 shares, making it one of the most popular posts we have ever had. The floral-inspired exhibition centre in Wujin, China was recently awarded the China Steel Structure Award by the China Construction Metal Structure Association.
The Exhibition Centre sits on top of an existing subterranean two-storey volume beneath an artificial lake. The sculptural new structure by studio505 generates public interest in the location, enticing passers-by to explore the exhibition halls within and encouraging organisations to make use of the meeting rooms and conference centres. There is also a 3.5-hectare People’s Park for the enjoyment of Wujin residents.
studio505 explains: “The development, ultimately, seeks to generate participation, to build an ownership of place that builds ties to the community and entices its people to stay and flourish and not to be drawn away. This landmark aims to bring longevity and depth to the community; to set a new standard for architectural ambition in the area and stimulate further urban development.”
The design team have therefore created a bold form in the shape of a lotus which is intended to appear as if floating on the lake. Visitors enter the building into a grand atrium and are immediately met by an immense 7m-high chandelier designed by studio505. Externally, the edges of the petal ribs are enlivened with hints of colour and at night, are brought to life by a smoothly transitioning light show.
More than 2,500 geothermal piles have been driven through the base of the artificial lake in order to minimise energy usage across the site, with lake water and the ground beneath used to pre-cool and pre-heat the air conditioning systems used within the Exhibition Centre. Natural ventilation has also be implemented throughout.