China Railway Qingdao World Expo City Conference Center by Tengyuan Design: 2018 Best of Year Winner for Civic Project
With nearly 20 conference halls and the ability to accommodate 1,500 people, the China Railway Qingdao World Expo City Conference Center, funded by the state-owned railroad and designed by Tengyuan Design, is literally big enough to drive a train through. Necessary, since the goal is to attract visitors to Qingdao, an ancient coastal city of nine million people. Inspired by the nearby Yellow Sea, the 430,000-square-foot steel structure looks like a streamlined wave, one that troughs before cresting again at the adjoining Westin hotel, itself 300,000 square feet and also designed by Tengyuan Design. “We hoped for a destination that is, in terms of scale and technology, far ahead of anything else in Northeast Asia,” general manager Zhao Guangjun says.
In the center’s ceramic-tiled lobby, fiberglass-reinforced gypsum board is CNC-cut into an abstract school of fish surrounding a column and then swirls upward, in solid form, to the ceiling, and outward, to wrap the staircase enclosure. There, portholelike openings are fitted with transparent vinyl film. Overhead, an aluminum canopy is also CNC-cut, aptly resembling a fishing net.