The Ningbo Urban Planning Exhibition Center, in China, by Playze and Schmidhuber, is a space faithful to the values it represents, since its development is a consensual process replicating that of participatory urbanization.
In the heart of the new city in the east of Ningbo, China, the urban planning exhibition center is intended to be an architectural model conducive to dialogue between the public and decision-makers. For this, Playze and Schmidhuber opt for a design that reflects and extends the nearby river and its public park. In contrast to the quadrilateral blocks that surround it, the construction is intended to be fluid. A series of streets, alleys and bridges, interweaving around a central atrium, create four neighborhoods, all of which form a multi-faceted shell and entrances. Thus, the visitor is invited to vary his point of arrival, to explore and become familiar with the space. It then remained to cover this giant work of nearly 25,000 m2 in a garment that does honor to the thousand-year-old city. However, Ningbo is recognized for its ceramics, and even for having been the starting point of the famous “ceramic route”. The building’s facades, therefore, a genius idea, are available in textured and glazed ceramic which, depending on the time of day, the season and the weather, animates the still structure of a thousand and one different atmospheres. Here transparent, there opaque, the clay screen in light green represents an ethical urbanization, where the new merges with the old and innovation is based on the lessons of the past.