Nestled beside the meandering tributary of the Yongding River lies a project that defies conventional architectural norms. In this vast expanse of serene meadow, where boundaries blur and the external landscape melds seamlessly with the built environment, a sense of weightlessness and harmony emerges organically.
From its inception, the design was rooted in symbolism, aiming to forge a connection with the rich historical tapestry of its surroundings. The concept took shape as a crystalline water droplet delicately dissolving into the meandering river’s endless curves. Yet, as the narrative unfolded, metaphorical dimensions began to surface, infusing the design with layers of meaning.
The layout of the structure features the water droplet shape positioned diagonally on the site. This strategic placement not only elongates the visual journey from the city’s interface to the entrance but also provides an intuitive representation of the water droplet form.
A cantilevered roof, with its far-reaching cornice overhang and extensive glazing, seems to float directionlessly amidst the gentle sway of surrounding trees, bestowing an enchanting tranquility upon the space. The absence of a defined main entrance adds to the ethereal ambiance. Instead, three exposed diagonal wooden posts at the front serve as subtle guides, demarcating the entrance space.
These wooden posts, resembling the nearby tree trunks in their cross-section size, effortlessly blend into the visual tapestry of the environment, further enhancing the floating sensation of the roof.
Before entering the exhibition space, visitors pass through a transitional area under the lowered eaves. As they gradually step beneath the leaf-shaped skylight, a remarkable transformation occurs. Consciously designed to control the intrusion of excessive direct light, the skylight’s size ensures a soft and serene ambiance within the space.
This transition creates a sense of anticipation, inviting visitors into a sanctuary of calmness. One of the project’s most significant challenges lay in its structural integrity, specifically the large spans and overhangs. After numerous rounds of rigorous testing, a unique architectural solution emerged—an umbrella-shaped design.
The integration of three circular steel beams—interior, middle, and exterior—with 68 radial red pine beams formed a spoke arch configuration. Within the interior, eight wooden posts and three diagonal wooden posts at the front end were incorporated.
This structural marvel resulted in a column-free indoor space measuring 34.0m x 14.5m, with an outdoor cantilever of 3.7m. Clad in smoke-gray aluminum-magnesium-manganese shingles and adorned with ultra-white tempered glass, the spruce ceiling’s delicate texture and leaf-shaped exterior contours bring forth the true essence of understated elegance.
Harmonizing form and function, the exhibition center seamlessly integrates various spaces, including an 11-meter-long area beneath the eaves—a grand showcase space in its own right, a finance room, a storage room, gender-separated restrooms, and several logistics sales offices.
In the meticulous design process, every effort was made to conceal all utilities, such as water, electricity, and air conditioning, within the cavities of the roof board, inclined beams, and main ring beam. This attention to detail ensures a seamless and uncluttered aesthetic, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
As the project nears completion, the design’s poetic interpretation of its surroundings, from the fluidity of the river to the harmony of the natural landscape, emerges as an architectural masterpiece. The floating oasis along the winding tributary of the Yongding River embraces visitors with its ethereal beauty, offering respite from the complexities of the world