Yin Chuan Conference Center

PROGRAM: Site planning and conceptual building design
CLIENT: A Yinchuan Development Company
SIZE: 6000 m2 of building on a 1.2 hectare site. FAR 0.5
STATUS: Conceptual Planning Stage
LOCATION: Yin Chuan, Ningxia Province

The site is northwest of the center of the city close to the range of hills further to the west. The area is treeless, very windswept, and there is a lack of water. The weather is dry and cold in the winter, hot in the summer. The building turns its back to the wind with a curved grass roof that shelters a sunken, protected courtyard - reminiscent of the sunken courtyard houses of Shaanxi and Henan. A long box, floating above the curved mound, holds 30 guest rooms.

The entrance is at one end of a long circulation axis that connects the various activity and dining rooms, and terminates in a cylindrical void that connects the ground floor and two underground floors. The central part of this circulation spine, covered with a grape trellis, is also a deck that overlooks the sunken courtyard. Across from this deck is a staircase wall similar to those found in Mughal India used to access deep water wells. This is a reference to the Islamic heritage of the region.