A look at the completed Lujiazui Harbour City Exhibition Centre in Shanghai

Shanghai Lujiazui Harbour City Exhibition Centre. — AFP pic
Shanghai Lujiazui Harbour City Exhibition Centre. — AFP pic

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SHANGHAI, March 15 — Shanghai’s Lujiazui Harbour City Exhibition Centre, where ship-building once reigned, provides a sleek new venue for events on the waterfront.

The 1500 square-meter space replaces the former Shanghai Shipyard and winks at its long history of local maritime industry.

OMA — an international architecture and urbanism practice, with an in-house research and design studio — was appointed to design and execute the building in November 2014.

The firm is led by nine partners (notably Dutch architectural icon Rem Koolhaas), and has branches in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha, Dubai and Perth.

Located on the waterfront hugging the Huangpu River, the Exhibition Centre is on the northern end of the recently-developed Shanghai Pudong district.

The building dialogues with the site’s industrial past: its metallic mesh and steel materials reference the unfinished ship hulls that used to inhabit the site.

Positioned on the ramp of a former ship cradle, the hub provides a designated event space for the surrounding financial district. 

OMA dreamed up the Exhibition Centre to be what they deem “spatial armature”.

Suspended above a plaza, it is connected to another exhibition space below a ramp. The building’s large volumes and open plans provide new opportunities for pluridisciplinary cultural events, be they film screenings, fashion shows, or concerts. The covered plaza under the elevated box can be used for more intimate gatherings.

OMA designs that are currently under construction span the global spectrum, from the Taipei Performing Arts Centre to the renovation of Kaufhaus des Westens in Berlin, from the Qatar National Library to the Fondation d’Entreprise Galeries Lafayette in Paris, plus Prince Plaza in Shenzhen.

OMA’s completed projects in recent years include the Faena District in Miami (2016); a new building for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (2016); a new home for Rotterdam’s municipal offices (2015); the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2015); the Fondazione Prada in Milan (2015); G-Star Headquarters in Amsterdam (2014); a large mixed-use tower in the Netherlands (2013); and the CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2012).

The CCTV Beijing structure caused some debate in China.

Earlier notable buildings by OMA include the Casa da Música in Porto (2005), the Seattle Central Library (2004), and the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003). — AFP-Relaxnews

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