In Progress: Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

In Progress: Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au
© Coop Himmelb(l)au

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 Project Team: Nico Boyer, Liisi Salumaa, Anja Sorger, Vanessa Castro Vélez, Lei Feng, Reinhard Hacker, Jan Brosch, Veronika Janovska, Manfred Yuen, Matthias Niemeyer, Matt Kirkham, Peter Rose, Markus Wings, Ariane Marx, Wendy Fok, Reinhard Platzl, Debora Creel, Hui-Cheng, Jessie Chen, Simon Diesendruck, Yue Chen, Thomas Hindelang, Pola Dietrich, Moritz Keitel, Ian Robertson, Keigo Fukugaki, Gaspar Gonzalez Melero, Giacomo Tinari Model Building: Nam La-Chi, Paul Hoszowski, Taylor Clayton, Matthias Bornhofer, Katsyua Arai, Zhu Juankang, Lukas Allner, Phillip Reiner, Moritz Heinrath, Olivia Wimmer, Silja Wiener, Katrin Ertle, Maria Zagallo, Logan Yuen, André Nakonz, Arihan Senocak, Rashmi Jois, Sachin Thorat, Marc Werner 3D Visualization:, Vienna; Jens Mehlan & Jörg Hugo, Vienna Project Year: 2008-2011 Photographs: Markus Pillhofer

Local Partner: DADRI Dalian Institute of Architecture Design and Research Co. LTD & UD Studio, Dalian, P.R. China Client: Dalian Municipal People’s Government, P.R. China Structural Engineering: B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger Grohmann Schneider ZT-GmbH, Vienna, Austria & DADRI Dalian Institute of Architecture Design and Research Co. LTD, Dalian, P.R China Acoustics: Müller-BBM, Planegg, Germany; Dr. Eckard Mommerz Stage Design: BSEDI Beijing Special Engineering Design and Research Institute, Beijing, P.R. China Lighting Design: a•g Licht, Wilfried Kramb, Bonn, Germany Audio & Video: CRFTG Radio, Film and Television Design & Research Institute, Beijing, P.R. China Climatic Design: Prof. Brian Cody, Berlin, Germany HVAC, Sprinkler: Reinhold A. Bacher, Vienna, Austria & DADRI Dalian Institute of Architecture Design and Research Co. LTD, Dalian, P.R. China Façade: Meinhardt Facade Technology Ltd. Beijing Branch Office, Beijing, P.R. China Photovoltaic: Baumgartner GmbH, Kippenheim, Germany General Contractor: China Construction Eight Engineering Division, Dalian, P.R. China

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.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

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.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

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.

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.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

  • 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.

Through this open and fluid arrangement the theater and conference spaces on the main level establish a kind of urban structure with “squares” and “street spaces”, which facilitates on the one hand user orientation within the building by identifiable “addresses”, and on the other hand provides also the required informal meeting places, chill-out and catering zones in between the halls, with view on the outside – an ideal atmosphere for modern conference utilization.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

The access to the basement parking garage, truck delivery and waste disposal is located at the southwestern part of the site, thus freeing the front driveway to the entrances from transit traffic. The main entrance from the sea side corresponds to the future developments, including the connection to the future cruise terminal.

The focus of the architectural design and project development lies on technology, construction and their interplay. The technical systems have a service function. Like an organism, they fulfil the tasks required for the spatial use of the building automatically, invisibly and silently.

With the Dalian International Dalian Conference Center, these systems work like a hybrid city within a building. For the technical infrastructure of the building this means, that we have to consider a huge amount of people circulating inside the building at the same time, who expect high standards in circulation and comfort as well as a state of the art building with respect to high flexibility, low energy consumption and low use of other natural resources.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

Technical areas in the basement supply infrastructure within a rectangular grid, mainly inside the vertical cores. The main task for the conference zone is to provide these areas with sufficient amount of air, maintaining a high level of thermal and acoustical comfort. Therefore the conditioned air will be silently injected into the rooms via an inflated double flooring underneath the seating. Air blowout units inside the stairs will ensure consistent air distribution. Due to the thermal uplift, the heat of the people ascends to the ceiling and is extracted by suction.

Cooling in summer times will be provided by radiant ceiling panels which can additionally be used as radiant heaters in the wintertime.

Besides the mechanical equipment for air supply and exhaust we propose installations for heat energy recovery, so that this energy can be recycled for use inside the building.

One of the major tasks of sustainable architecture is the minimization of energy consumption. A fundamental contribution is to avoid considerable fluctuations in demands during the course of the day. Therefore it is essential to integrate the natural resources of the environment like:

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

  • Use the thermal energy of seawater with heat pumps for cooling in summer and heating in winter.
  • General use of low temperature systems for heating in combination with activation of the concrete core as thermal mass in order to keep the building on constant temperature.
  • Natural ventilation of the huge air volumes within the building allows for minimization of the mechanical apparatus for ventilation heating and cooling. The atrium is conceived as a solar heated, naturally ventilated sub-climatic area.
  • In the large volume individual areas can be treated separately by additional measures such as displacement ventilation.
  • A high degree of daylight use is aspired both for its positive psychological effect and for minimizing the power consumption for artificial lighting.
  • Energy production with solar energy panels integrated into the shape of the building.

About this author
Cite: Nico Saieh. "In Progress: Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au" 24 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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