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Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

China Architecture News - Dec 21, 2021 - 12:31   1838 views

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Henning Larsen has won an international competition to design a carbon neutral civic center in Pujiang, China

In the competition, co-organized by Pujiang County Planning Bureau and Urban Construction Investment Co., Ltd, the Henning Larsen team has kicked off other top international firms, Zaha Hadid Architects, gmp Architects, MVRDV and Swooding Architects.

Called Pujiang New Town Civic Center, Henning Larsen's proposal incorporates a holistic sustainable approach, based on ten planning and design strategies to meet energy saving and zero carbon goals of the Pujiang project owners.

With China’s carbon peaking and carbon neutrality targets in place, the project's brief consists of a carbon neutral park that is a visionary decision that promotes low carbon sustainable design.

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

Henning Larsen introduces a huge, massive and distinctive circular structure to be more conducive for natural ventilation. Thanks to its sculptural form, the building also fittingly embodies zero carbon architecture, according to Henning Larsen - the conference center will surely become a model zero energy architecture in the region, the design team explains. 

Described as "a pioneering project", the project has a defined, and new spatial, aesthetic, and perception standards for future architectural development. The building seamlessly combines Northern European design sensibilities with sustainability concepts in China, while also making zero carbon the hallmark of a vibrant Pujiang.

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

"The Pujiang International Convention Centre is a unique opportunity to create a vibrant city center for the county," said Henning Larsen’s Design Director and Partner Claude Godefroy.

"Its residents need human-scale public spaces, which includes pedestrian zones, a lively 24/7 street life, food stalls, arts and crafts shops, and an array of ever-changing cultural activities." 

"It is part of Chinese culture and Pujiang culture, and the success of this new city depends on such urban initiatives," Claude Godefroy added.

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

Situated on the main axis of the Pujiang New Town, the Pujiang International Conference Center is made of a distinctive circular design, symbolizing perfection and completion. 

Due to its circular structure, the building is aimed to save more building materials than a square-shaped building and its non-angular shape is more conducive to natural ventilation. 

With the project, the structure is intended to raise the users’ awareness and perception of sustainability - which is also be a key aim of this design, as the Henning Larsen team emphasizes. 

The sloping roof of the conference center, which faces the Guangding Lake, is conceived as a unique platform that highlights zero carbon living. 

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

"Here, citizens can directly experience the benefits of various low carbon, environmentally friendly materials and sustainable technologies," added Henning Larsen. 

At the centre of the courtyard, there is an ecological park incorporating the elements of scientific education, where a water purification system and a diverse flora and fauna will be part of its three-dimensional landscape. The structure, enveloped by a waterscape, and the site and the Guangding Lake are merge together to form a seamless visual experience.

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

A range of small-to medium-sized buildings are placed next to the iconic conference center, by conforming with the human scale in mind. Porous and pleasant streets reflect the congenial urban fabrics of Chengdu’s traditional linpan settlements and form ventilation corridors that effectively alleviate the urban heat island effect.

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

"With wellness being of paramount importance to us, meeting health and wellbeing standards will be pertinent for the next generation of green buildings," added Henning Larsen. 

The southside office block consists of eight low-rise courtyard buildings which are connected by a central pedestrian lobby that facilitates foot traffic and provides an interactive shared space that encourages communication.

"A holistic sustainable design should also be human-centric, which is why we hope to create a vibrant community space fitting for all occasions," added the firm.

While the conference center serves as the core of this design, it is surrounded by architectural features that serve a diverse range of functionalities, instilling a vitality for the entire site. Located at the southeast corner, the civic center welcomes citizens with its iconic soft curves while offering 24-hour amenities that add much convenience to the community.

Henning Larsen incorporates sustainability principles early on in the architectural design process, so that they can achieve the maximum return with the minimal investment. 

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

For this reason, the architects have set design goals that achieve zero carbon emission and zero water consumption, as well as raise sustainability awareness for the Pujiang New Urban Civic Center from the very beginning. 

"A pleasant microclimate has also been created by running intelligent simulations that consider the climate conditions of the Pujiang region, which typically has hot summers and cold winters," the studio added.

"Attaining sustainability is not merely based on tracking carbon emission measurements, but also relies on a holistic, viable integrated design that has a continuous and reliable operation."

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

"The foundation of this viable sustainable design does not rest on expensive technical measures—fundamentally it is about the creation of affordable and efficient sustainable buildings," Henning Larsen continued.

"We hope to start a new chapter of sustainability for Pujiang through this project, paving the way for a vibrant Pujiang through zero carbon living."

Henning Larsen reveals design for carbon neutral civic center for Pujiang, China

Image courtesy Henning Larsen

Henning Larsen recently won a two-stage competition to design a prestigious university campus in the heart of Innsbruck, Austria. The firm will design "one of the largest contemporary wood structures" in Denmark. 

Top image courtesy Henning Larsen.

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