Chengdu, hailed as the land of abundance, has a civilization history of 4,500 years and a city construction history of 2,300 years. In the 13th century, Marco Polo came to Chengdu, and the Corridor Bridge, the Jinjiang River and the cloth of ancient Sichuan became the most colorful parts of his travelogue. In the 21st century, against the background of the Belt and Road Initiative, the planning of Chengdu Tianfu Cultural and Creative City came into being, and the Sino-Italian Cultural Exchange Center is an important part of the City, aiming to build a platform for cultural exchange and civilization interchange between the two countries. The project is located about 36 kilometers from the center of Chengdu, planned to cover an area of 17,813.3 square meters, with a construction area of 2,106.7 square meters. At the platform of the exhibition hall, the creative group projects on the east side and the natural landscape of Yanqi Wetland are treats for visitors.
▼项目鸟瞰，aerial view of the project © 存在建筑
▼项目航拍顶视图，aerial top view of the project © 存在建筑
The architects hoped to find the intersection of the two in the cultural differences between the East and the West: the overall design concept was taken from the “Ruyi”, which has been used in China since ancient times as a gift to foreign ambassadors to signify the conclusion of friendly relations and the peace of the two countries; while the Italian pavilion draws its design inspiration from Italy’s most representative piazza, shaping an intimate and pleasantly scaled urban art living room. The design elements are extracted from the ancient Roman arches and domes, and the smooth enclosure of multiple circular squares is used to form a rich and versatile use space to meet the multi-functional requirements of exhibition, meeting, reception and catering. The use of pure white on all walls gives the building a different three-dimensional light effect in the sunlight, while the large area of glass extends the indoor space to the outside and allows the outdoor scenery to be fully mapped in, becoming a dynamic mural of the four seasons. With the change of wall materials, the designer creates the feeling of space that is both inside and outside, and the pavilion is thus perfectly integrated into the surrounding natural environment.
▼主入口夜景，night view of the main entrance © 存在建筑
▼从古罗马的拱券、穹顶中提取设计元素，design elements are extracted from the ancient Roman arches and domes © 存在建筑
The harmony between architecture and nature lies in the use of natural resources as well as in the protection of the natural environment. The pavilions on both sides are designed with top lighting, so that the light is evenly diffused in the indoor and outdoor spaces. In addition, the introduction of multi-level outdoor greenery and the use of buoyant ventilation devices to channel airflow into the building organically combine the natural elements of light, scenery and wind, allowing people to perceive and coexist with the surrounding natural environment while they are in the building. Meanwhile, the building design reveres the existing ecological environment and uses materials and means such as low-e glass, local wood and green roofs to reduce building energy consumption and achieve sustainable construction. The exhibition hall serves as an important part for linking and integrating the surrounding ecological forest. The circular space consists of two spatial forms: indoor and piazza; three outdoor semi-circular piazzas are defined as the entrance fountain piazza, the Italian piazza, and the outdoor theater, each reproducing a typical Italian urban piazza space. The Piazza Italia is surrounded by the ruins of the Roman arches.
▼多层次室外绿色植物与弧形墙体，multi-level outdoor greenery and curved walls © 存在建筑
The visitor crosses the gable to the Italian piazza and ascends a curved staircase to the roof garden. There are two circular gardens, one in the east and one in the west, which are complemented by the contrast between natural vegetation and stone. The Chinese Cultural Hall on the east side is reached by walking down through the cultural corridor or stepping over the Chinese white jade pavement above the water pond. The two paths symbolize the two Silk Roads between East and West, on land and on water.
▼檐廊与意大利广场，the gable and the Italian piazza © 存在建筑
In terms of space planning, the designer has reserved the most flexible space for exhibition and display. The staggered height of the building allows visitors to stand at different heights and view different scenery, creating a “walk in the woods” mood and a unique experience. The interior of the building is a flowing space shaped by 10 circular walls of different sizes, which are divided into three levels of elevation in accordance with the terrain, rising from the entrance hall to the interior space step by step, with two circular skylights in the entrance hall and the central exhibition hall to guide visitors from the entrance hall to the main exhibition hall. The ceiling is controlled at the same level, and the height of the space is richly varied. Except for the round solid wall, the interior and exterior boundaries are all glass, fully incorporating the outdoor landscape into the interior and the natural landscape as part of the exhibition in the form of framed scenery. The three indoor circular spaces are designed as a meeting hall, a multi-functional hall and a multimedia showroom, which are arranged around the central exhibition hall. By controlling the size of the circular wall openings, the light and darkness of the space is defined, while the meeting room is surrounded by water features and sculptures. The other five outdoor semi-circular walls are surrounded by greenery and mountains, facing nature.
▼中央展厅，the main exhibition hall © 存在建筑
▼会客大厅与吊顶，the meeting room and the ceiling © 存在建筑
▼总平面图，master plan © aoe事建组
▼平面图，plan © aoe事建组
▼立面图，elevations © aoe事建组
项目设计 & 完成年份：2021年4月
Project name：Sino-Italian Cultural Exchange City Reception Center
Design year & Completion Year：Apr-21
Leader designer & Team
Architecture：Wen Qun, Ma Jianning, Pan Jichang, Li Xiangting, Fan Ruixue, Chang Zhiyu, Wang Ye, Lu Yu
Interior： Zhu Dan, Du Jing, Liu Jingyi, Xue Yawen, Liu Chen
Project location：Chengdu, China
Gross Built Area：1695.8 sqm
Photo credits：Arch-Exist Photography
Partners Structure: CSCEC AECOM CONSULTANTS CO., LTD
Clients：Tianfu Investment Group Co., LTD