The new conference center broke ground early this year and is expected to open by September 2015, in time for the Forum’s 6th annual meeting.
The concept of the Ningxia International Conference Center (NXCC) was developed as part of an international design competition in which tvsdesign, along with their local partner the Ningxia Architecture and Design Institute, was selected to be the design architect for the project. When finished, the NXCC will be tvsdesign’s fifth convention and conference center to be built in China.
The NXCC was designed to be an architectural landmark in the Ningxia region. It embodies key influences of local Chinese culture, and conveys a strong Islamic identity common to the Ningxia province’s Hui population, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group within the region, and the nearby Arab nations.
“The architecture of the Ningxia conference center was inspired by ancient Chinese metaphors and strong Islamic artistic patterns, harmoniously merging elements of both cultures,” says tvsdesign Senior Project Architect Rob O’Keefe. “We designed the facility around a central outdoor courtyard, an element that becomes the nucleus of the center, where people will meet, share knowledge and develop new ideas.”
“In China, the ancient coin, for example, is a strong metaphor for harmony between heaven (the circle) and earth (the square). In the Muslim culture, the combination of the circle and the square is called the Mandala motif, and is recognized as the unifying intermediary between the materialism and the spiritual world” says Architect Rob O’Keefe.
The conference center is encapsulated in a unifying and dynamic steel shell, whose curvilinear form is derived from stitching a square at the base with a circle at the top. These pure geometries have had significant influence throughout history in both Chinese and Muslim cultures.
Architects at tvsdesign worked diligently with the Arup structural engineering group to develop the unique screen structure, which is composed of an outer triangular grid surface overlaid on a hexagonal base grid to create a thin space frame consisting of more than 30,000 individual structural framing members.
The site plan is designed as a series of interior spaces around a central outdoor courtyard, which acts as a unique venue for public events and outdoor events. This organizational model was derived from various precedents of Islamic architecture.
Location: Yinchuan, China
Project Area: 700,000 sq ft
Client: Ningxia Construction Bureau