XINING CITY CENTER





The total site area is 93 acres, located to the north of Nanchuan River. The rise and fall of the forms echoes the mountain ranges layered spatially in the distance. The concept is that of concentric natural and urban rings. The architecture brings the natural beauty of the peripheral landscape into the heart of the city. The spaces surrounding the buildings create constantly changing perspectives that encourage people to move through the site, under the edges of the buildings and to experience the space of the city in a new way. 

The geometry of the buildings, composed of hyperbolic paraboloids, is highly precise and mathematical. The forms imply curvatures that the eye completes. The experience of witnessing the flat surfaces produce the effect of curvature excites the imagination, raises the level of spatial understanding, and creates a sensory experience of light and movement. The result appears as an immeasurable, scaleless sculpture or natural phenomenon.

The interior spaces of the Planning Exhibition Center flow directly from the surrounding plazas. The lobby is open on both the street and river side, allowing the public to see through. The plan is arranged around a large open atrium which contains the main exhibition model. The Youth Activity Center is composed of three programmatic components also connected to a central atrium. The form both expresses this separation and unifies the three.


Location: Xining, China

Client: Xining Zhenghua Construction Investment Holding Co.

Size: 28,000 sq. m.

Schedule: 2014-19 

Program: 16,000 sq. m. youth center, including gym and 500 seat theater; 12,000 sq. m. planning center, including galleries, multistory model exhibition space, offices, and small theater.

Team: Preston Scott Cohen, Carl Dworkin (Design); Yi Xiao; Brendan Kellogg, John Todd, Max Wong, Patrick Hamon (Design Assistants)