Chinese architects Approach Design has added a new hall to the Hangzhou Cloud Town Exhibition Centre in China and concealed it under a green roof featuring a running track and sports courts.
After originally designing a large latticed structure for the first stage of the convention centre in 2015, demands for more space led to the architects developing a second, adjacent building.
Beijing practice Approach Design decided to take a different approach for the new hall, rather than simply build an extension to the original convention centre.
“Just when everyone expected an even larger, iconic building, we designed it as a park,” said the studio.
The new nine-metre-high exhibition hall is sunk three metres underground, minimising its profile in the landscape.
To enter the hall, visitors move down steps located under the park.
This downwards-facing entrance was a deliberate move away from the “ceremonial steps” upwards that the architects felt were often used for convention centres.
“We first decided to reduce the building’s huge size, compressing this 66,000 square metre megastructure to just 6.6 metres above ground,” added Approach Design.
“It presents itself as a huge low rooftop covered in a lawn.”
“All around the building sit a multitude of gentle grassy slopes – the whole roof appears an extension of the horizon and openly welcomes people to walk on it,” added the studio.