Atlanta's tvsdesign breaks ground on Ningxia Conference Center in China | News
Atlanta's tvsdesign Breaks Ground on Ningxia Conference Center in China, New Home of China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum
The China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum will soon have a new home, the Ningxia International Conference Center, designed by Atlanta-based architecture and design firm tvsdesign. The facility will be built in Yinchuan, China, the capital city of Northwest China’s Ningxia province. The 700,000 square-foot facility will become home to the five-day economics and trade forum, held annually since 2010. 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.”
Conference Center Design Details:
- 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.
When it opens in 2015, the Ningxia International Conference Center will serve as a symbol of cooperation between China and its neighboring Arab States. The harmonious representation of both cultures will produce an elegant, world-class facility that the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum will be able to proudly call home. Additionally, as a landmark building for the region, the NXCC will make its own economic contribution to the province, drawing visitors and conferences year round to the facility to take advantage of the high quality, unique meeting spaces.
“It’s a great honor for tvsdesign to be able to practice in such a rich cultural and historical context,” says Kevin Gordon. AIA, Project Principal with tvsdesign.
About the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum
The Forum’s mission is to promote and strengthen economic and trade cooperation, as well as political trust, between China and its neighboring Arab States. The Forum’s home and site of the new conference facility within the Ningxia province is significant due to its location 700 miles Northwest of Beijing as well as relative Arab nations. The fact that Ningxia province is home to more than 10 percent of China’s 20 million Muslims also contributed to the location. The success of the Forum will continue to contribute to the economic development of the Ningxia province and its goal of developing into an international manufacturing center of Muslim foods and products for Arab and Muslim countries.