Water, Water Everywhere
Qingdao Ling Hai Urban Design
Although it is one of China’s top industrial cities and has a rich cultural heritage, Qingdao lacked a facility for large events and for exhibiting the many goods produced in the region. Therefore, when NBBJ planned the new Qingdao Water City at Aoshan Bay, 50 km northeast of the city center, a new expo center formed a crucial element and gateway of the development.
Organized into an “L,” two wings of expo halls, ten total, linked by a vast canopy, shelter a public plaza that can be used for large outdoor events. At the corner, a dramatically curved main entrance faces outward to welcome visitors to the expo center. Each of the column-free halls can be subdivided into two smaller, square halls, allowing maximum flexibility in planning a variety of events.
The expo center anchors the new Water City at Aoshan Bay, part of a regional economic strategy designed to increase and promote tourism, convention and resort activities in Qingdao and greater Shandong province. The expo center, the first built component of NBBJ’s master plan, is to be followed by a 5-star hotel (linked to the expo center via a pedestrian bridge) and residential areas, all integrated into the wetland site along the shore of the East China Sea.
As part of a global effort to rethink architecture’s impact on the environment, it is critical that civic landmarks such as this lead the way to a more sustainable future. Mindful of this responsibility, Qingdao Aoshan Bay International Exhibition Center implemented several sustainability strategies:
Uniformly sized exhibition halls expedite construction and reduce waste.
Where possible, natural ventilation and solar stack vents reduce mechanical cooling loads.
A photovoltaic system takes advantage of the roof area, and a district-wide central heat
and power plant utilizes ocean water as a heatsink.
Large windows introduce daylight and reduce lighting energy demands.