The city of Korla has announced that inFORM studio has been selected as the winner of an international design competition for the Civic Cultural Exhibition and Activity Center in Korla, China. It will be a symbol of a progressive future for the region of Xinjiang. The conceptual proposal embraces the master plan vision for an axial relationship of cultural buildings and a strong east/west pedestrian linkage through the site; it also responds intelligently to the climate, geological heritage, ecology, and contextual views and relationships.
Climatically, the building responds morphologically to the many attributes that characterize the region including, dryness, large daily temperature fluctuations, prevalent sunshine, and consistent ground temperatures below the surface. The abundant sunshine is a tremendous asset to the reduction of energy through the proper use of daylighting. Additional energy will be saved by the use of trombe walls and a geothermal system bringing an earthy stability to the variable temperatures throughout the day. Providing a thick building skin with a perforated quality takes advantage of these conditions. The overall building form is reminiscent of the mountain strength that is so powerful within the region with a human-scale of a lotus flower pattern that is used as a strategy of panelizing the façade as well as perforating the exterior skin for daylighting. Views are primarily internal as the nature of exhibition demands, however, striking moments within the building provide grandiose views of both the canal and the mountains to the north.
Several opportunities exist to further reduce the use of energy within the building including natural ventilation. The cool air drawn in over the chilled pools will provide a stack affect in the tall spaces as the air is warmed towards the daylighting windows above. The overall reduction in energy required to facilitate mechanical operations provides opportunities of southern oriented building integrated photovoltaic panels to contribute more significantly to the percentage of energy production.
Clean water, clean air and an insightful respect for the regional ecology are some of the tangible benefits of this design for the Civic Cultural Exhibition and Activity Center. Moreover, the powerful architectural statement will become a symbol for this commitment to a sustainable future.
Location: Korla, Xinjiang, China
Architect: inFORM studio
Project area: 8,000 sqm