Nanshan Wedding Center / Urbanus

© Meng Yan & Wu Qiwei

Architects: Urbanus
Location: Nanshan Distrit, , China
Design Director: Meng Yan, Zhu Jialin 
Project Director: Zhang Zhen, Fu Zhuoheng, Wei Zhijiao
Architecture Designers: Wang Jun, Yin Yujun, Hu Zhigao,Li Qiang, Zhang Xinfeng 
Landscape Designers: Liao Zhixiong, Lin Ting, Yu Xiaolan, Liu Jie
Collaborator: Guoqun Studio (Interior Design); Shenzhen Keyuan Construction Group co.,Ltd (Curtain wall Design)
Client: Construction Bureau of Nanshan District
Completion: 2011
Site Area: 3,002.5 sqm
Floor Area: 977.5 sqm
Photographs: Meng Yan, Wu Qiwei

© Meng Yan & Wu Qiwei

In China, the image of marriage registration office is usually closely associated with government institutes. Moreover, registry office, as a part of the Civil Affairs Department, also connects marriage with the complicated and boring bureaucracy. Due to such bureaucratization of the process of marriage, the supposedly romantic and exciting moment of marriage registration turns into mechanized experience and formalism. Nanshan Wedding Center is a new architectural typology: on the one hand, the architects hope to bring a new identity to the process of marriage registration; and on the other hand, it provides different types of public space for other users from the city. Furthermore, it redefines the identity and the monumentality of government building and shortens the distance between the citizens and the governors.

© Meng Yan & Wu Qiwei

The design strategy is to accommodate a modern wedding center with well embedded programs. The site of the project locates in the Northeastern corner of Lijing Park in Nanshan District, with the size of about 100 meters long and 25 meters wide. The main building is at the north side of the site, close to the street corner. A small pavilion at the south side is connected with the main building by two bridges floating on a reflecting pool. This arrangement not only reveals the ceremonial sense of wedding, and also indicates the main building as a symbolic urban landmark.

© Meng Yan & Wu Qiwei

The key idea of this design is to exemplify the experience of one circulating in the building. A continuous spiral path connects facets of the experience in a sequential way: arriving, approaching to the wedding hall with the focus of relatives, photo taking, waiting, registering, climbing, overlooking, issuing, descending slope, passing the water pool, and reuniting with relatives. The building is specifically designed to create such memory.

analysis of movement

The approach explores how to situate a specific government building in the existing urban fabric of residential communities. Small spaces are divided from the larger volume of the building to achieve relative privacy. The building’s skin is separated into a two-layer structure, with the first layer using floral mesh aluminum to reveal the interior, and the second layer using glass walls to provide a weatherproof structure. The interior space and the outside facade remain white in order to show the spiritual atmosphere of marriage registration.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Nanshan Wedding Center / Urbanus" 20 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • student

    really beautiful

    does anyone else find the firm name odd? urbanus. urb. anus

    • dashen

      Dear Student, u r so funny

      • Dennis Moss Jnr

        oh come on, that is pretty funny!

  • gui chao

    A work from KLAB architec studio, the placebo drugstore, is similar to this,but it was build before this building. So I think URBANUS may refer to it before design Nanshan Wedding Center. that’s it ,over~

  • VES


  • Rizky Muzakir

    Looks like one of those Escher illusion sketches, noice………

  • yan fei

    it is very nice wedding here.