Civic Cultural Exhibition and Activities Center


Korla, China


The Civic Cultural Exhibition and Activity Center in Korla is a symbol of a progressive future for the region of Xinjiang.  The exhibition space itself represents the most innovative thinking in planning, sustainability and architectural design.  The development embraces the master plan vision for an axial relationship of cultural buildings and a strong east/west pedestrian linkage through the site; but 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 can 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 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.

Clean water, clean air and an insightful respect for the regional ecology are some of the tangible benefits of the design for the Civic Cultural Exhibition and Activity Center.  Moreover, the powerful architectural statement has become a symbol for the commitment to a sustainable future.