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MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like "a giant white tent" in China

China Architecture News - Apr 21, 2022 - 10:24   1113 views

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

MAD has completed a congress center resembling "a giant white tent" beneath snow mountains in Yabuli, China

Named Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center, the curve-formed building has recently been completed and currently in use.

Video by Blackstation

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © Agovision

The 16,198-square-metre project is located in the city of Yabuli, Heilongjiang Province. The region is a well-known ski town, which has the largest snow training center in China, and the longest alpine ski slope in Asia.

The project was commissioned in 2017 by the Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum (Yabuli CEF) and topped out in late 2020

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © CreatAR Images

The new Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center was designed to host the annual event of China Entrepreneurs Forum (CEF) as well as the Chinese Entrepreneurs Museum. 

The center also hosts educational programs for entrepreneurs and corporations, which can accommodate big conferences, exhibitions, corporate training programs and think tanks simultaneously.

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © Blackstaion

Situated on 22,000-square-metre site, the interior covers a total interior area of 16,000 square meters and the building consists of a library, exhibition halls, and more than 20 well-equipped multi-functional rooms.

MAD, led by Ma Yansong - who recently spoke to WAC's China Country Reporter Flora Jing Lin Ng as part of WAC's Live Interview Series, inspired by the site's surrounding scenery and topography. 

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © CreatAR Images

From a distance, the building acts like "a giant white tent" floating down from the top of the mountain then gently dissipating into the snow. 

The building's roof features undulating ridgelines that are inspired by the shape of distant snow-capped mountains. MAD uses white aluminum panels on the roof to give the organic and biological look that evokes "the contours of fresh snow."

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © CreatAR Images

The interior layout and circulation works are designed according to the building’s height differences that follow the downward slope of the hill, leavingart of the building hidden underground. 

Visitors access the building via main entrance from the ground floor by the east side but the side entrance and exit are located on the second floor by the west side. 

"While walking uphill in the snow, people see this structure as a humble gesture with open arms," said MAD. 

"The farthest ends of the curved roof cantilever up to 20 meters to provide shelter for passersby from inclement weather."

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © CreatAR Images

For the façades, MAD uses floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls framing both the east and west sides of the building, while the north and south facades blend into the sunken courtyard landscape.  

MAD designs all MEP terminals to be not visible while the louvered openings are set in the sunken garden underground, allowing for a smooth visual continuity between the curve on the façade and the interior walls.

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © ArchExist

On the top of the roof, MAD creates a central skylight for sunlight that floods the wood-clad lobby, and according to the studio, this skylight also "maintains a commanding presence within the central axis of the center." 

The organic body of the building is also perceived from the interior, while a central staircase adds a sculptural presence. 

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © CreatAR Images

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © Agovision

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © Agovision

Besides, the studio designs additional light features throughout the structure to illuminate the dynamic activity taking place inside while ETFE, a lightweight and translucent plastic polymer, is integrated into the curtain wall structure to diffuse light throughout the interior. 

The lobby can function as a temporary performance space thanks to an acoustic design using wood panels with 4mm micro-perforations.

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © Agovision

MAD designs the main conference hall as an entirely column-free space that can accommodate nearly 1,000 people. 

The LED screen of the 350-seat auditorium can be opened to transform the surrounding mountains into a backdrop.

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © ArchExist

"In addition to creating a dramatic and transparent space, the floor-to-ceiling glass merges the interior and exterior views of the pure snow scenery and the warm wooden interior into a singular composition," said MAD in a project description. 

According to the studio, during the day, the architecture of the building becomes "a form of land art on the snow-covered earth, at night, the warm lighting illuminates the structure like a burning bonfire by a tent."

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © ArchExist

MAD also added that "Above the snowy mountains of Yabuli, there is the most beautiful starry sky; a luminous deep blue that extends infinitely into the universe." 

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © Blackstaion

"The bonfire and the tent served as design inspiration as these two elements reflect the  human spirit of exploring the greater unknown, seeking truth and knowledge in the dark." 

"The Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center is the physical site for the heritage of that spirit which guides the way for the successors," the studio added.

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © Blackstaion

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © ArchExist

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © ArchExist

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Image © ArchExist

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Sketch by Ma Yansong

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Ground floor plan

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Second floor plan

MAD designs Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center like

Section

Project facts

Project name: Yabuli Entrepreneurs’ Congress Center 

Architects: MAD

Location: Yabuli, China

Date: 2017-2020

Site Area: 22,000 sqm

Building Area: 16,198 sqm

Building Height: 23.3 m

Principal Partners in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano

Associate Partners in Charge: Liu Huiying, Tiffany Dahlen

Design Team: Li Guangchong, Sun Shouquan, Deng Wei, Song Chi, Zhang Xiaomei, Huai Wei, Zhao Meng, Wang Shuobin, Zhang Yanru, Yuki Ishigami, Xiao Ying, Tian Jin.

Client: China Entrepreneur Forum

Executive Architects: China Architecture Design & Research Group

Façade Consultant: RFR Shanghai, Kighton Façade Consultant

Landscape Architects: BJF International Design

Interior Design Consultant: Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Decoration & Landscape Design Research Institute Co., Ltd.

Lighting Consultant: Brandston Partnership Inc.

Signage Consultant: Dongdao Creative Branding Group

Acoustics Consultant: Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning & Design Institute

LEED Consultant: AECOM Beijing

Top image © CreatAR Images

All drawings © MAD

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