RTA-Office has released its first-prize winning proposal for the Wuhu Urban Planning Exhibition, Office, and Archive. The design stems from the idea of an “urban cultural container,” holding both knowledge and space, and extracts its sculptural form from the surrounding mountainous landscape.
Pushing for the Exhibition Hall to be a recognizable landmark, the design is largely driven by its surrounding context. The building as a whole derives its shape from the rocky faces of the nearby Yashan Mountain, giving it a strong sense of place. Similarly, the structure is divided into three distinct sections all grounded by a central public space, each informed by the same rocky inspiration. The cracks in the rocks’ surfaces are mirrored in the irregular entrances and windows carved into the building’s volumes.
The density on the exterior of the Exhibition Hall is contrasted inside by lofty open spaces. The window carvings penetrate the heavy building, unexpectedly flooding the interior with natural light. An interior courtyard defies its container, creating an inviting open space. Contrast is also created by the material inserted into the “cracks” – the entrances are dense (cor-ten steel, copper) while the windows are light and translucent.
To maximize usable space, the complex is largely pedestrian-oriented, keeping automobile traffic confined to the perimeter. Further speaking to the pedestrian occupants, the structure maintains a strong connection with a green park on its outskirts and brings a secondary park inside with the inner public space. The use of natural materials like bamboo, stone, and grass solidify the relationship of the occupants with their surroundings, creating an inviting and familiar environment.
Project NameWuhu Urban Planning Exhibition, Office and Archive
Architecture and Landscape DesignSantiago Parramón, RTA-Office
PhotographsCourtesy of RTA-Office