Sou Fujimoto has constantly explored the relationship between nature and artefacts to deliver spaces that resemble unrestrictive yet protective envelopes. The proposal for the exhibition space in Shenzhen, China, is a testament to this ideology.
The proposed exhibition hall is one among the three future landmarks of the Futian District geared towards the modernization of Shenzhen in the purview of entrepreneurship and business innovation. The Shenzhen Reform and Opening-Up Exhibition Hall competition sponsored by the Shenzhen Municipal Public Works Bureau was won by the collaborative entry of Sou Fujimoto Architects from Japan and Donghua Chen Studio in China. The two-fold intervention includes a Reform Hall covering about 35,000 square meters and a public urban park spanning the 47,000 square meters surrounding the Hall.
The space within reads like a progression of volumes, the central space evocative of a massive atrium. With a super built-up area of 90,000 sqm, the exhibition area includes an education area, public service area and a comprehensive business and academic research area. The translucence of the white perforated facade illuminates the structure and reflects the “reform and opening-up” concept that the name of the proposal suggests. Perceived from a distance at night, the building glows like a beacon to embody the city of Shenzhen and its stronghold as an entrepreneurial hub.
Dotted with greenery and pause points, the spatial organisation follows the language of a “village-like” environment with spaces that seamlessly lead the users inwards. The element of visual contact pervading the inward-looking orientation is articulated by the winding ramps and platforms whose shadows sweep across the atrium.
On the other hand, the contextual relation between the dense city centre and the undulating ecological environs of Xiangmihu find a juxtaposition in the building. The ‘garden in a box’ concept reflects the coexisting dichotomy of nature and technology that the city offers. The Reform Hall along with the International Performance Center and Shenzhen Finance Culture Center forms a significant group of public infrastructure along the mountain-sea sight corridor of Xiangmihu.
The exhibition hall not only serves as a preamble to the culture and technology of Shenzhen but also as a facility for data collection and research. The overarching purpose of the design was to develop a holistic architectural and landscape design that serves as a window into Shenzhen and its landmark achievements over the decades. Geared for contractual construction as per the terms of the competition, the Reform Hall is bound to deliver a singular experience for locals and visitors alike.