Lee Harris Pomeroy Architects design prominent new convention center in China
Inspired by a traditional Chinese fan in its structure and form, the Bin Hai International Convention & Exhibition Center in Tianjin, China, was designed as a world class, state-of-the-art conference and exposition center serving the general public as well as trade shows, political conventions and other significant gatherings. The fan, an internationally recognised symbol of Chinese culture and tradition, carries many meanings. It is a fitting symbol and metaphor for the fast-growing seaport city of Tianjin and TEDA where waterways, trade routes, airways, and railways converge. The project was intended to boost convention activity in China’s third largest center of finance and international trade.
The gently rounded shape of the Center, with its glass walls and skylights, becomes a ‘boulevard’ where visitors can stroll and enjoy random encounters. It also allows for multiple building entrances to accommodate simultaneous conferences, each with its own identity. In addition, interior spaces can be easily reconfigured for trade shows, political conventions and other significant gatherings.
Supporting the roof are steel trusses suspended by cables attached to masts rising nearly 115 feet. This allows clear spans under a dynamic form to provide flexible exhibition space. Skylights on the roof fill the interior with natural light. Constructed in two phases, the 900,000 sq ft (1.2 million sq m) Center was completed in time to host the Davos World Economic Forum’s in September, 2008. LHPA has also completed design for a 56-storey luxury hotel and condominium tower situated in the centre of a lake, adjacent to the Convention Center. The hotel project’s unique vision consists of three intertwined cylindrical components clad in green glass overlaid with a diagrid structure of stainless steel. The three cylinders were inspired by the twisting forms of ancient cypress trees.