When one looks at the most iconic buildings designed by the leading architectural design firm AECOM, it is hard to not notice the name “Prince Bay Marketing exhibition Centre” located in Shenzhen city of China. It’s not just the architectural detail and construction techniques that wow the readers but also the way it stands proudly over the landscape acknowledging and representing the city’s unique geographical and cultural characteristics. Standing at Shekou Harbour, the birthplace of Shenzhen’s Economic reform, the prince Bay building becomes the flag bearer of the past turmoil while looking forward to the future that is filled with immense potential.

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Built-in the year 2016, the design of the Marketing exhibition Centre is based on the representation of Chiwan Hill, Weibo Hill, and Shenzhen Bay respectively. This is achieved by constructing the visitor center in the shape of a “three-blade propeller” with three huge windows looking out to Shekou Bay, Chiwan Bay, and Dananshan Park allowing the visitors a treat of the famous landscapes of the region.

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The Twisted Tango

One of the striking features one notices while seeing the exhibition center is its huge overhanging windows which are raised 6 meters above the ground level to create an air of lightness and fluidity to the structure. A combination of glass and steel at the folded interchange creates a dynamic as well as lightness to the bulky structure. In addition, the overhangs from the windows provide shade to visitors on the ground  (Arch Daily, 2016).

“Prince Bay Marketing Exhibition Centre / AECOM” 29 Aug 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed 1 Oct 2022.


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The Inside-out effect

After admiring the exhilarating external façade, the visitors are greeted with another beautiful feature: three opaque halls built around a three-floor high atrium. While walking up and down the corridors one can see glimpses of Shekou’s past, present, and future displayed through various tech-savvy interactive mechanisms. One can overlook the mountains and the sea from the floor-length glass paneled windows and louvers while grasping the snippets of the past to connect with the past, present, and future Shekou has to offer. 

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Glass facade to connect to the nature_©Zhang Xuetao ArchDaily.jpg
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The Design Concept

Every great design holds the art of mesmerizing its users into a state of tranquillity where the space between the built and the beyond merges into a fluid motion creating a multi-dimensional experience. Prince Bay Marketing exhibition Centre is no exception. AECOM used a range of contracting materials, spatial connection principles, and construction techniques to create one fluid exhibition space. The Hanging gardens that can be viewed through the side court flipped up to form a roof create a sense of “inside and out” while the huge windows and glass louvers provide an unobstructed view of the outside world and embrace the contradictions of “opaque and transparent”. The passageways with user interface and descriptions allow the conversations between “virtual and reality”. The fluid design, three huge windows, and extravagant structure speak about the integration of “time and space” (Arch Daily, 2016).  The etching copper reflects the history of the region while the gazed glass embraces the future, both materials tied together with the dark red brick echo a balance between warm and cold, past and the future, a perfect symbol of the Exhibition center and Shekou, a feat only made plausible through AECOM.

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The art of deception: Realm of 3D from the depths of 2D

If one believes that the ‘Prince Bay exhibition Centre’ has put all its cards on the show, then there is something else waiting to blow their minds off. The design team of AECOM re-defined the boundary of ‘wall and roof’ by applying the principle of ‘twist and turn’ to the geometric features of the space. The main objective here is to guide the viewer’s sight toward nature while forming a wave-like curved profile mimicking the sea and harbor. 

However, this extravagant concept had its share of trouble: Budget. To pass the said hurdle, the team simply broke the structure into multiple 2D parts to create an ideal 3D effect. An accurate 3D model optimization and analysis is achieved through 270 main keels with different lengths (total length 3645m), and 6300 pieces of rectangle glass with 1800 sizes (optimized to 420) ultimately realizing the desired shape and effect (Arch Daily, 2016).

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The art of multitasking: AECOM as designers and project managers

Every site comes with a set of opportunities as well as a challenge. While the exhibition Centre is an opportunity to create an extravagant space with fluidity it also bore a huge challenge. The clients wanted the completion of the project in a limited time frame of 10 months. In an attempt to deliver the project on time, AECOM donned the hat of both designers and project management. AECOM team has implemented the ‘design-build delivery system’ allowing high design accuracy and efficient implementation with the help of its multi-disciplinary team. They played a vital role in collaborating with architectural, structural, interior, and landscape design teams along with coordinating material, lighting, and structural teams and making sure the project is completed at the given deadline without any compromise in the final quality.

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“Prince Bay Marketing exhibition Centre” is not just a jewel crown to Shenzhen city of China but also a name face to AECOM which became a textbook example to understand design principles and material implications to breathe life into the designs.


  1. ArchDaily. (2016). Prince Bay Marketing Exhibition Centre / AECOM. [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/794205/prince-bay-marketing-exhibition-centre-aecom [Accessed 11 Oct. 2022].
  2. ArchDaily. (2016). Prince Bay Marketing Exhibition Centre / AECOM. [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/794205/prince-bay-marketing-exhibition-centre-aecom [Accessed 11 Oct. 2022].

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