不只是博物馆 | MORE THAN A MUSEUM
Shortly after the successful collaboration for the German Pavilion at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the two practices playze and Schmidhuber joined forces again to win the invited competition for the Ningbo Urban Planning Exhibition Center. Eight years later the construction has been completed and the center opened to the public. It is located at the heart of the newly built “Ningbo Eastern New Town” adjacent to the city hall and the civic square.
▼展览馆鸟瞰图，bird-eye’s view of the exhibition center ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
Prompted by surging urban growth in many of the nation’s larger cities, the specific typology “urban planning museum” has been invented to present achievements in urban planning and development to the public. The Ningbo Urban Planning Exhibition Center is supposed to be more than just a simple presentation space. It shall be a forum for all stakeholders of the urbanization process. It combines programs for interested citizens, children, planning professionals, academics, civil servants and government members. The goal was to create an engaging, accessible public space in the new district, and thereby foster the dialogue between citizens and decision-makers.
▼展览馆鸟瞰图，在城市新区内创造出一个引人入胜的公共空间，bird-eye’s view of the exhibition center, creating an engaging, accessible public space in the new district ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
连续的景观空间 | A CONTINUOUS LANDSCAPE
▼展览馆外观远景，周围设置着一系列连续的水景，distant exterior view of the exhibition center with a continuation of the surrounding waterfront landscape ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼被水面包围的展览馆，the exhibition center surrounded by the water landscape ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
To emphasize the role of the center as a public venue, it has been developed as a continuation of the surrounding waterfront landscape and is therefore an integral part of the public park. Connecting pathways, bridges and streets have been woven into a topography leading to the many entrances of the building. The boundary between park and building has been blurred.
▼展览馆外观远景，公园和建筑之间的界限变得模糊，distant exterior view of the exhibition center, the boundary between park and building has been blurred ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼展览馆外观街景，street view of the exhibition center ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
The enormous volume containing 24’929 m2 floor area has been split into four main blocks connected by a central atrium. This leads to a faceted outer perimeter breaking the overall scale of the building and creating comfortable humane spaces around the volume. As an architectural antithesis of the surrounding “mega-blocks”, it brings a certain intimacy to the neighborhood. The building invites to stroll around and to explore various spaces, views and activities.
▼展览馆外观近景，完整的建筑形体被打破，close exterior view of the exhibition center with a faceted outer perimeter breaking the overall scale of the building ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼展览馆外观近景，在邻里中营造出一定的亲密感，close exterior view of the exhibition center, bringing a certain intimacy to the neighborhood ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼展览馆外观局部，partial exterior view of the exhibition center ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
半透明的陶瓷表皮 | A TRANSLUCENT CERAMIC SKIN
The City of Ningbo has a rich history in ceramic production. It was here that the so-called Ceramic Road began. The city played an important role in the national and international trade of ceramics throughout the civilization’s history. That said, the use of glazed ceramics is not simply an homage to the local traditions of Ningbo; the building’s textured glazed ceramics also create ephemeral reflections of surrounding landscape. These reflections animate the facade with varying intensity depending on time of day, season, and weather.
▼展览馆近景鸟瞰，选择釉面陶瓷作为建筑表皮，close bird-eye’s view of the exhibition center with the skin made of glazed ceramics ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼展览馆外观局部，可以根据功能的需要和景观的朝向来调节釉面瓷砖的疏密，partial exterior view of the exhibition center, the ceramic screen gradually shifts between being nearly transparent to fully opaque, according to program needs and views to the surroundings ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼釉面陶瓷可以反射周边的景观环境，the glazed ceramics can create ephemeral reflections of surrounding landscape ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼展览馆釉面瓷砖表皮局部，the skin made of glazed ceramics ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
From a distance, the building skin appears like a natural extension of the surrounding landscape. With its form and reflective qualities, the façade modulates visually with its context. Up close, this modulation is also applied in the deployment of the facade system and details. It functions much like a natural filter of leaves. The ceramic screen gradually shifts between being nearly transparent to fully opaque, according to program needs and views to the surroundings; while around exhibition areas the tiles overlap tightly, they open up in gathering areas to allow ample daylight and scenic views. At night, the pattern glows from inside as shadows populate the facade’s curved apertures.
▼夜幕中的展览馆远景，distant exterior view of the exhibition center at night ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼夜幕中的展览馆，光线从建筑表皮的缝隙中漫出，整个展览馆都被笼罩在淡淡的光晕之下，night view of the exhibition center, the pattern glows from inside as shadows populate the facade’s curved apertures ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
城市体验 | AN URBAN EXPERIENCE
The exhibition halls are mainly allocated on the third and fourth floors of the building. The first and second floors offer a large variety of public spaces, including a restaurant, library and reading space, meeting areas, a children’s education and playground, classrooms, as well as a large multi-purpose event hall. On the roof, that is also directly accessible from the landscape, a café invites visitors to relax and enjoy the views of the surrounding city.
▼展览馆室内，设有各种公共空间，interior view of the exhibition center with a large variety of public spaces ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
There are four main entrances on the second floor leading directly to the central atrium. The exhibition path starts on the top floor and follows a ramp system around the atrium. It is a fluid sequence of spaces without clear boundaries. It is therefore like a natural continuation of the outdoor landscape concept. Visitor shall explore the exhibition much like an urban neighborhood. They choose their own individual path through indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces, as well as lounges and terraces with scenic views of the city deliberately connecting the exhibition content with the newly developed urban surroundings.
▼展览馆室内，给人一种自然的连续感，interior view of the exhibition center with a natural continuation ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
数字化项目 | A DIGITAL PROJECT
It was never the intention to demonstrate the capabilities of digital tools by means of this project. Nevertheless, this building couldn’t have been designed, developed, produced and built without the help of cutting-edge digital technology. In order to cope with the complexity of the spatial allocation and coordination of the structure, curtainwall, secondary structure and ceramic skin a tailor-made computer script had to be coded. The script automatically generated a 3D model of the structure and façade, as well as production drawings for the respective contractors. The entire planning has been coordinated between the different trades in a central BIM model. This allowed us to control and direct the integration of sustainable building technologies including controlled ventilation, collection and reuse of rainwater, photovoltaics, etc. Furthermore, this model also served as a basis for cost estimations, scheduling, tendering, site supervision and future maintenance of the building.
▼立面细节，facade details ©Playze + Schmidhuber
旅程即奖励 | THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD
The entire project from competition stage to completion took a little more than eight years. Ever-changing decision makers, many new regulations, updated urban plans, new team members, and many other unexpected developments asked for a lot of patience. It was crucial to keep focus on the core aspects of the project and to mediate between the different forces. The result is more than just a building; it is the outcome of a long journey of negotiations between the different stakeholders of a public building project.
▼展览馆夜景鸟瞰，bird-eye’s view of the exhibition center at night ©CreatAR Images, Shanghai
▼总平面图，site plan ©Playze + Schmidhuber
▼一层平面图，1F plan ©Playze + Schmidhuber
▼二层平面图，2F plan ©Playze + Schmidhuber
▼三层平面图，3F plan ©Playze + Schmidhuber
▼四层平面图，4F plan ©Playze + Schmidhuber
▼剖面图，section ©Playze + Schmidhuber
Location: Ningchuan Road / Heqing North Road, Ningbo, China
Client: City of Ningbo
Site area: 12’376 m2
General floor area: 24’929 m2
Status: Completed in 2019
Architecture (competition stage): playze & SCHMIDHUBER
Architecture (execution stages): playze
Local design institute: Shanghai Institute of Architectural Design and Research
Landscape design institute: Ningbo Institute of Urban Construction Design and Research
Façade consultant: RFR Group, Shanghai
General contractor: Hwaking Construction Group
Interior/exhibition design and construction: Feng Yu Zhu, Shanghai
Photography: CreatAR Images, Shanghai