Building in the Key of Innovation

by Rakks | October 11th, 2013

Urban Planning Exhibition Hall

How does one go about creating the “Most Romantic Building in China”? Simple. Take the piano and the violin, the modern incarnations of romance, and blow them up 50 times their normal size.  This was the task at hand when designers from Huainan Fangkai Decoration Project Co. teamed up with students from Hefey University of Technology to create the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall in Huainan City, China in 2007. Their project, which has garnered support and admiration from designers and architects worldwide, is a prime example of innovative and functional architecture. And is just the beginning for this up and coming Chinese province.

The romantic structure is composed of a transparent violin and a black piano, the former serving as the entrance with an appropriate grand staircase and escalator that lead visitors inside the grand piano. Both instruments are constructed using a combination of different modern materials including black and transparent glass that give the building a sleek finish that beckons the spill of sunlight. At night, the transparency fades, leaving only a sensuous silhouette of the instrumental couple.


Piano House

The base of the grand piano, which is comprised of two concert halls, serves as a practice facility for musicians from local colleges. The building has become a popular tourist destination and common photo spot for newlyweds looking for a shot with the “Most Romantic Building in China.”

The Urban Planning and Exhibition Hall was commissioned by the local government to draw interest to the developing city of Huainan. It is a less economically developed province of China, but has an admirable ambition to become a powerhouse for innovative, sports-themed architecture. A breadboard model inside the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall displays various city plans and further innovative developments. In 2011, the city released its design plans, which included a collection park featuring five sports-themed buildings.


Sports Park

A 150-meter ping pong paddle-shaped hotel is set to be constructed in Huainan City, a coal mining centre with a population of 2.4 million. The hotel will cover an area of 67 hectares, and is estimated to cost 300 million yuan (approx. US $46 million). It will feature three sections: the top section is designed to host a restaurant and bar with an observation deck for the scenic view of the city, the middle will offer guest rooms, and the lower section will house conference facilities.

The plans also include a football shaped stadium, a volleyball-shaped natatorium (indoor swimming pool) plus smaller stadiums and gym facilities shaped like a football and a basketball. The buildings were all designed by Mei Jikui, a renowned architect for sports-related construction and is projected to cost 1.8 billion yuan (approx. US$275 million). Construction began at the end of 2011 and is to be completed in three phases over five years.

The city has already placed itself on the map with its musical incarnation and we are eager to get a look at the next fascinating development in Huainan City.

Piano House

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