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International Conference Center – Dalian, China

Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au

Location: Dalian, China
Design Principal: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Paul Kath (until 2010), Wolfgang Reicht
Project Architect: Wolfgang Reicht
Design Architect: Alexander Ott
Design Team: Quirin Krumbholz, Eva Wolf, Victoria Coaloa
Urban Concept
Dalian is an important seaport, industrial, trade, and tourism center, located in the southernmost part of the Liaodong Peninsula in the Chinese Liaoning Province.
The city is currently undergoing a wave of transformation on coastal brownfield and reclaimed land which will entirely change the city’s significance within the next decade.
The key developments are:
Dislocation of container port out from the dense city area
Establishment of international port for cruise ships
New urban development on reclaimed land
Bridge over the sea bay to connect with the special economic zone
The urbanistic task for the design of the Dalian International Conference Center is to create an instantly recognizable landmark of the above mentioned urban development in Dalian. Situated at the terminal point of the future extension of the main city axis, the center will be anchored as its focal point in the mental landscape of the international community

The footprint of the building on the site is therefore arranged in accordance with the orientation of the two major urban axis which merge in front of the building. The close surroundings are further differentiated with the conference spaces that penetrate the façades, cantilevering and thereby creating a spatially multifaceted building volume.
The various theaters and conference spaces are covered by a cone-shaped roof screen, whose controlled daylight input assure good spatial orientation for the visitors and atmospheric variety.
Architectural Concept
The building has both to reflect the promising modern future of Dalian and its tradition as an important port, trade, industry and tourism city.
The formal language of our project is not pictographic, but associative; it will combine and merge the rational structure and organization of its modern conference center typology with the floating spaces of traditional Asian architecture as well as with a design reminescent of the soft surfaces generated by the forces of the sea.

The project combines the following functions within one hybrid building with synergetic effects of functionality and spatial richness.
Conference Center
Theater and Opera House
Exhibition Center
Parking, Delivery and Disposal
A public zone at ground level allows for differentiating accessibility for the different groups of users, with the shopping and exhibition facilities directly connected to the conference center providing dramatic sight axis within the building. The actual performance and conference spaces are situated at +15 m above the entrance hall. The grand theater, with a capacity of 1,600 seats and a stage tower, directly opposite of a flexible conference hall for 2,500 seats, is positioned at the core in the center of the building.
With this arrangement the main stage can be used for the classical theater auditorium as well as for the flexible multipurpose hall. The main auditorium is additionally equipped with backstage areas like in traditional theaters and opera houses. This scheme is appropriate to broaden the range of options for the use of this space: from convention, musical, theater even up to classical opera, with very little additional investment. The main auditorium has the option to get equipped with a flexible floor providing all possible utilization from banquet to parliamentary seating.
The smaller conference spaces are arranged like pearls around this core, providing very short connections between the different areas, thus saving time while changing between the different units. Most conference rooms and the circulation areas have direct daylight from above. [via archdaily]