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Exhibition Plaza

KUANLU Architects

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  • Design Team: Wang Kuan, Yang Lin, Li Zhengkai, Zheng Na, Liu Yuting, Wang Yilong, Xiao Peng, Chen Wei
  • Engineering Consultant: Chang Qiang / IRCCD of THAD


221,736 sq. feet
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Project Description


This is a multi-functional exhibition center for the new city of Otog, located in the big Mongolian grassland in northern China. It contains 4 exhibition parts: history, culture, industry, urban planning. The government wants it to be the future landmark of the new city.

When we were commissioned, we realized that not only would we need to design a landmark for the city, but we also had to do something for the people. The site is huge, measuring at 40,000 square meters. If not, there would be another “Big Block” occupying this public space.

This was our reasoning behind its design.

We wanted the building and the site to become one continuous space. So that people could walk everywhere, outdoors or indoors, on the ground or on the roof. Everything is merged here. Just as if they were walking on the grassland. So it becomes a real public place, and it is more accurate for people to call it “Exhibition Plaza” rather than “Exhibition Center”.

We tried to find inspiration from local geography, Mongolian culture, and wanted the totem to be merged into the design concept. For example, the façade facing the main city road is inspired by the eagle, which is the spirit totem here. The roof plaza is inspired by the local grassland and rock land.

The lines on the façade are automatically sun-shading solar panels. They are able to open or close according to the sun.

The entire roof is cut into stairs which act both as stone stairs, and a green belt. It's color can look yellow or green depending on the direction and angle you are in. Thus, the roof plaza becomes an ever-changing, dream-like environment: from grassland to stone ground. Every five steps, there is one belt of roof window built in between, which will allow sunlight indoors.

Because of the curved roof window, the ceiling looks like a dome of sky. This is a great space for all kinds of exhibition for the Mongolian peoplejust like they are living under the great beautiful sky.

Please don’t talk about the relationship between function and form. We think they are so merged that they cannot be separated by rationality. What we suggest is that you FEEL the building.

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