Urban Planning Exhibition in Ningbo | playze and Schmidhuber
The winners of the invited competition to design the Urban Planning Exhibition in Ningbo , China are Playze and Schmidhuber. The concept of the proposal is the ancient Chinese ribbon dance, a tradition that dates back to the Han Dynasty, where a dancer animates complex movement and figures with just a single gesture. Therefore, the building’s elements are all tied up together as a ribbon.
The band starts at ground level, and its trajectory defines the circulation within and the overall volume’s aesthetics. Visitors walk through the band wrapped around the rooms, enjoying a no-boundary type of space. This is a factor that heavily weights on the visitor’s experience and perception of the space – a flowing, non-constricting construction will surely have a different impact on people than a standard, stiff architectural structure.
The facades are also considerate of the city’s history, which is famous for its ceramic production, with textured glazed-ceramic that beautifully reflect the surrounding environment. Also, the opacity of the ceramic varies, from transparent to fully opaque, customized accordingly to the view. In the exhibition areas the tiles overlap, while in the social-inclined spaces the tiles open up.
Usually, the Chinese “Urban Organizing Museums” are elements that present to the public information about city planning and development. The Ningbo district is a pretty young, fresh suburban area, with an identity that is still unclear. The projects aims to soften the existing buildings in the district, while creating a new, iconic attraction.
The beauty in projects such as the museum by Playze and Schmidhuber consists not only in the volumetric proposal, but in the attention to details and the way that all of these elements, from micro to macro, come together. Additionally, the building is designed in a manner that permits it to be equally as appealing during the night as it is during the day.
Competition: Ningbo Urban Planning Exhibition Center
Award: First Prize
Architects: Playze, Schmidhuber
Location: Ningbo, Zhejiang, China
Playze Design Team: Pascal Berger, He Mengjia, Marc Schmit, Ulrike Bronner, Didier Callot, Deng Zhaozhong, Guo Yecheng, Huang Yu, Jiang Huihai, Anthony Lau, Nathan Melenbrink, Javier Paz Taibo, Song Pengfei, Tao Yang, Chris Wang, Wu Meijun, Ye Dongliang, Daisy Yuan, Yu Chao, Yu Siwei, Felix Zheng
Schmidhuber Design Team: Lennart Wiechell, Tina Mülbüsch, Georg Rötzel