The Los Angeles office of international design firm NBBJ recently released new renderings of what will be the Qingdao Water City development at Aoshan Bay.
The first phase will consist of a new 180,000 SM (1,940,000 SF) exposition center that includes 10 flat-floor expo halls, one multi-purpose hall, two lobbies, retail and a central outdoor expo plaza.
This exposition hall will be the region’s center for international and domestic trade shows as well as a variety of performances and other large-scale events, while serving as the gateway to the water city development.
The exposition center will be completed in early 2011, and will be the stimulus for development within the entire Qingdao Water City. The central open green space that contains a golf course will be completed in October 2010 with phase 1 residential to the north of the expo to be completed in 2011.
The design for the world-class expo is shaped by its interaction and proximity to the water. The site is flanked on one side by the ocean and on the other a diverse and continuously changing wetland landscape.
The convergence of fresh water and ocean water gives the region a distinct ecosystem and has forced inhabitants to develop a complex system of dikes.
The exhibition center design aims to create a sinuous atmosphere to induce associations of flowing water, while the “L” shaped program of the structure provides pronounced edges along the western and southern aspects of the development, to be reminiscent of the dikes.
Ultimately, the center will embody a gesture of welcoming, implicitly alluring visitors to the Water City development.
Upon arriving at the exhibition center, guests will be met by a grand sweeping arc of glass. This glass façade wall of the main lobby leans to create a reflection that alludes to a deep calm pool of water, while simultaneously shading the lobby from the southern sun.
The otherwise grand interior space of the lobby is contrasted by exposed steel structures lightly supporting the roof as if it were wetland grass waving in the sun. The lobby’s central location allows prime access to either wing of exhibition halls.
“As part of a global effort to rethink how we design our built environment, it is critical that a civic facility like the Aoshan Bay International Exhibition Center help lead the way to a more sustainable future,” says Robert Mankin, AIA, Partner with NBBJ.
To this end, an expansive outdoor plaza has been built into the design, which can be utilized as an exhibit for special events and as a park at all other times. The landscape will rely on natural foliage to minimize the need for irrigation and assist in the absorption of storm water. Several additional sustainable features that will be implemented into the project are listed below.
The Qingdao Exhibition Center project team includes NBBJ as lead architecture firm and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD) as associate architecture firm.
A leader in exposition, sports and entertainment facility design, NBBJ has also designed the Kintex Expo II, which is currently under construction in Goyang City, Korea.