NBBJ Releases Imagery of Qingdao’s New Exhibition Center

The Los Angeles office of international design firm NBBJ is designing the new Qingdao Water City development at Aoshan Bay in China. The first phase will consist of a new 1,940,000 squafre-foot exposition center that includes 10 flat-floor expo halls, one multi-purpose hall, two lobbies, retail and a central outdoor expo plaza. The exposition center will be completed in early 2011, and will be the stimulus for development within the entire Qingdao Water City.

The design for the 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. According to architects, 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.

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.

Sustainable strategies for the project include a photovoltaic system to take advantage of the surface area of the roof and connect the exhibition hall to the district-wide central heat and power plant that utilizes the ocean water as a heat sink, as well as the fact that the exhibition center is being designed with large windows in locations that receive optimal sunlight to cut back on lighting energy demands.

The Qingdao Exhibition Center project team includes NBBJ as lead architecture firm and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD) as associate architecture firm.