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Dalian International Conference Center

Austrian architecture practice Coop Himmelb(l)au has completed the Dalian International Conference Center in China. Located by the harbour in the city of Dalian (located in the southernmost part of the Liaodong Peninsula in the Liaoning Province), the building features a sweeping, faceted facade and, on the inside, a 1600-seat theatre and concert hall, a primary conference room for up to 2500 delegates (that can be turned into a banqueting hall, an exhibition gallery or extra seating for the concert hall), and six additional conference spaces whose capacity varies between 300 and 600 seats.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-04-Duucio-Malagamba-759x506 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duucio Malagamba

The project with a dimension of 220m by 200m extends over 8 floors and combines numerous different functions within a single hybrid building on a total of 117,000 m²: a conference center, an opera house and an exhibition center as well as a basement with parking, delivery and disposal area.

Wolf D. Prix, Design Principal of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, describes the concept of the Dalian International Conference Center as the “idea to design a small city of conference and performance spaces beneath a shell-like roof. In the center is a grand 1,800 seats theater and opera house with stage and a flexible conference hall for 2,500 visitors.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-06-Duucio-Malagamba-759x518 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duucio Malagamba

  • Regarding the energy concept of the building Wolf D. Prix explains: “We have always realized resource-preserving concepts in our projects. Also this building in Dalian was planned according to sustainable principles, a sophisticated climatic concept, which includes for example the use of sea water for cooling, will yield 30% energy saving or CO2 reduction respectively.
  • The urban development strategy for the Dalian International Conference Center aims to create a distinctive landmark at the new endpoint of the main urban axis in the future extension area of the city.
Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-18-Duucio-Malagamba-813x1200 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duucio Malagamba

The fourth floor houses 26 small meeting rooms measuring 60 to 80 square meters each, two 32-seat multi-functional VIP rooms, and two multimedia meeting rooms. The 1,650-seat grand theatre stands at the central area stretching from the second floor to the fourth floor. It is designed for various activities like large theatrical performances. Participants, guests, media and actors all have their own space and path to enter and exit.

“The Dalian International Convention Center is comparable to the world’s most famous modern buildings. As one of the new world landmarks, it will also create a new urban lifestyle,” said Wolfgang Haid, the architect in charge of the project.

The Dalian Conference Center is associative in its architectural concept rather than pictographic, taking on the softness of form as though eroded by forces of the sea. The design incorporates a public zone with shopping at ground level and a 1,900 seat theatre and 2,500 capacity conference space situated 15 m above the entrance hall as floating spaces. Smaller conference spaces are situated around this core space. The main structure of Dalian International Conference Centre (DCC) comprises a horizontal and a cone shaped spatial steel frameworks, which are mainly supported by 10 concrete cores. Centre of DCC is the freeform shaped main conference hall, envisaged as reinforced concrete shell. The main loads of this hall are carried by four concrete cores; additional columns may be utilized to minimize the halls span length. Six smaller, box-shaped conference halls of various sizes are arranged around the main conference centre. These rectangular halls are made of reinforced concrete shear walls. Depending on their wall height and geometry they are able to cantilever from their supports.

“With the submission of this project COOP HIMMEB(L)AU illustrates impressively that and to what extent services by Austrian planners are high in demand internationally and leave sustainable high-quality marks abroad. The design achievement of the studio secures a successful urban integration of the enormous building volume and the creation of a landmark which is significant for the marketing of the city.”

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-21-Cristiano-Bianchi-759x569 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Cristiano Bianchi

Coop Himmelb(l)au:

The urban design task of the Dalian International Conference Center is to create an instantly recognizable landmark at the terminal point of the future extension of the main city axis. As its focal point the building will be anchored in the mental landscape of the population and 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 cantilevering conference spaces that penetrate the facades create a spatially multifaceted building volume and differentiate the close surroundings. The various theaters and conference spaces are covered by a cone-shaped roof screen. Through controlled daylight input good spatial orientation for the visitors and atmospheric variety is assured.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-urban-development-759x569 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

urban development – © Coop Himmelb(l)au

Program:

A public zone at ground level allows for differentiating accessibility for the different groups of users. The actual performance and conference spaces are situated at +15,30 m above the entrance hall. The grand theater, with a capacity of 1.600 seats and a stage tower, and the directly adjacent flexible conference hall of 2.500 seats, are positioned at the core of the building.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-functions-diagram-759x423 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

functions diagram – © Coop Himmelb(l)au

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 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.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-functions-interchange-level-diagram-759x569 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

functions interchange level diagram – © Coop Himmelb(l)au

Urban Concept:

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.

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.

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.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-render-01-ISOCHROM-759x460 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

render 01 – © ISOCHROM

Architectural Concept:

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.

  • Conference Center
  • Theater and Opera House
  • Exhibition Center
  • Parking, Delivery and Disposal
Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-08-Duucio-Malagamba-759x506 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duucio Malagamba

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.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-10-Duucio-Malagamba-759x417 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duucio Malagamba

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.

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.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-12-Duucio-Malagamba-759x759 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duucio Malagamba

Technical, Climatic and Environmental Concept:

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.

Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-17-Duucio-Malagamba-759x558 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duucio Malagamba

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:

  • 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.
Dalian-International-Conference-Center-By-Coop-Himmelblau-23-Duucio-Malagamba-759x506 Dalian International Conference Center / Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Duucio Malagamba

Project Data:

Project name: Dalian International Conference Center
Location: Dalian, China
Coordinates: 38.929703,121.668949
Type: Theatre and Auditorium
Specific Use of Building: International Conference Center
Number of Floors: 8
Building size:

  • Building Height: 60 m
  • Building Length: 220 m
  • Building Width: 200 m

Building Area:

  • Site Area: 40,000 sqm
  • Gross Floor Area: 117,650 sqm
  • Gross Floor Area Conference Center: 91,250 sqm
  • Footprint Area: 33,000 sqm
  • Gross Cubage above ground: 1,250,000 m³
  • Gross Cubage underground: 220,000 m³
  • Façade Area: 30,600 sqm
  • Roof area: 28,000 sqm

Competition Year: 03/2008
Start of Planning: 07/2008
Start of Construction: 11/2008
Status: Built
Cost: Withheld
Completion Year: 12/2012

Awards:

  • 2013 – Architizer A+ Awards – Category: Theatres & Performing Arts Centers – Jury Winner
  • 2011 – Wallpaper Design Awards – Category: Best Building Sites – Winner

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Dalian Municipal People’s Government, P.R. China
Architects: Coop Himmelb(l)au – Spengergasse 37, A – 1050 Vienna, Austria
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, Alice Gong
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
Local Partner:

  • DADRI Dalian Institute of Architecture Design and Research Co. LTD
  • UD Studio, Dalian, P.R. China
  • J&A Interior Design, Shenzhen, 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
Congress Management: Dr. Nikolaus Breisach, Graz, Austria
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
Text Description: © Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au, chinadaily, thestyleexaminer, Bollinger-Grohmann
Images: © Coop Himmelb(l)au, Duucio Malagamba, Cristiano Bianchi, Markus Pillhofer, ISOCHROM

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