Submitted by WA Contents

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

China Architecture News - Apr 08, 2021 - 13:16   3465 views

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Shanghai-based architecture practice More Design Office (MDO) has designed an exhibition centre composed of snow-crystal looking volumes in Shandong Province, China

Named Yantai Experience Centre, the 1,800-square-metre building takes cues from Yantai's hilly topography, its incredible fresh sea food and winter snow. 

Yantai is a coastal city on the Shandong Peninsula in Jinan. MDO were commissioned to create a landmark at the corner of the central axis of a new development area, south of the Fengshan Scenic Area. 

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Skylight detail. Image © Zhi Xia

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Top view. Image © Zhi Xia

The surrounding building fabric is typified by tall blocks of office and residences. MDO imagined the new building as a contrast to the homogeneity of the new development, through form, materiality and relationship with the landscape.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Aerial view. Image © Zhi Xia

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Aerial view. Image © Zhi Xia

The central heart – The snow-crystal plan

The typical exhibition centre is designed as a loop or a one way path. Often a courtyard or site model is placed at the centre as a focus, circulation is linear, lacking interconnection between distant spaces.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Diagram. Image © MDO

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Diagram. Image © MDO

"We decided to challenge this norm by creating a public area at its centre, a place for discussion and interaction. We wanted to design the space to be more human centric and welcoming," said MDO.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Top view. Image © Zhi Xia

The other functions are arranged as peripheral crystal 'ramifications', connected to the central heart.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Exterior facade. Image © Zhi Xia

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Aerial view. Image © Zhi Xia

The architecture becomes unity of positive and negative spaces. Like a snow-crystal structure that can be read as a pattern in its presence or absence of matter. The landscape areas, entering the sides of the building, become part of the whole rhythmical dialogue of the exhibition spaces, bringing light to the interior space.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Aerial view. Image © Zhi Xia

Architectural form

From the exterior, the building appears as a series of fluted drums wrapped in a glass skirt. The drums vary in height depending on the internal function. They are finished with silver aluminum panels which gently reflect the sky and surrounding landscape.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Exterior facade. Image © Zhi Xia

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Exterior facade. Image © Zhi Xia

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Facade detail. Image © Hai Zhu

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Exterior facade. Image © Zhi Xia

This form sets the rhythm of the visit, in terms of light and dynamic relationship with the exterior. 

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Exterior facade. Image © Zhi Xia

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Exterior facade. Image © Zhi Xia

The glass skirt employs 6m tall frameless panels. The facade was rationalized to use a single size and radius of curved glass, with glass fins structure.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Entrance. Image © Zhi Xia

The interior functions have been conceived as a collection. As each peripheral volume is a defined space, so environments are free to evolve and create a series of unique experiences.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Reception counter. Image © Hai Zhu

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Sunken discussion area. Image © Hai Zhu

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Discussion area. Image © Hai Zhu

The central space is sunk down to define the transition to the lounge area and to enhance the ceiling height. The step creates a column lined circular gallery, which encourages visual links between the different functions across the main space.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Central space. Image © Hai Zhu

The ceiling is finished in a hand painted red plaster which folds up to a central skylight above the central bar.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Central space and bar. Image © Hai Zhu

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Skylight. Image © Hai Zhu

Spiral design

Within the largest drum volume is the city model, which reflects the urban scale of the development. 

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Spiralling ceiling detail. Image © Zhi Xia

A bronze square ceiling spirals upwards into the darkness and is reflected back by a mirror, in order to create the illusion of an internal tower, allusion to the ascension to the unknown, the future.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Spiralling ceiling. Image © Hai Zhu

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

City model room. Image © Hai Zhu

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Ceiling detail. Image © Zhi Xia

Stepped amphitheater

In the most open part of the snow-crystal, we created a stepped amphitheater. The space is created for circular meetings, group activities and for children to play; a multifunctional space that can be adapted to different purposes.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Multifunction amphitheatre. Image © Hai Zhu

It addresses the neighborhood through its fully transparent envelope, inviting the local community to join and gather.

The project has received unamious praise from the local government who are planning how to use the building in the future. There are plans for it to be transformed into a community facility for Fenghan Park or as a community exhibition or gallery space. They believe that “the Little Snow Crystal” will become a focal point for the new community.

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

L1 plan

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

L2 plan

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Section A-A

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Section B-B

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Section C-C

More Design Office designs Yantai Experience Centre with snow-crystal looking volumes in China

Façade detail

Project facts

Project Name: Yantai Experience Centre

Project Location: Laishan District, Yantai City, Shandong Province, China

Area: 1800 sqm

Status: Completed in 2020

Design Firm: More Design Office

Design Scope: Architecture Design, Interior Design, FF&E

Design Director: Justin Bridgland, Jaycee Chui

Architecture Designer: Justin Bridgland, Carlo Alberto Follo

Interior Designer: Da Gao, Xiaoyu Bai, Mengqing Lei, Xiongjie Liu

Loose Furniture Decorator: Momo Dong, Rico Tang, Sunny Guo

Client: Shandong Hengkun Holding Group Co., Ltd...

Contractor: Yantai Kaishun Construction Group Co., Ltd.

Landscape Designer: HZS Landscape Designers

Structural Engineering: Yantai Architectural Design & Research Co., Ltd.

Structural Engineering Consultant: Bespoke Creative Engineering

All photos © Hai Zhu, Zhi Xia

Top image: exterior facade © Zhi Xia

All drawings © MDO

> via More Design Office