Zaha Hadid Architects’ Newest Building Is Inspired by a Curving Body of Water
Just north of Xi’An in China’s Shaanxi province, Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) newest commission will flow through Jinghe New City like a river. As part of a larger push to reshape Jinghe New City into a technological and scientific hub, the prestigious firm was recently announced as the winner of an international architecture competition to design the Jinghe New City Culture & Art Centre.
Defined by curves and flowing volumes and layers, the firm was inspired by the Jinghe River when designing the building, influenced by the way it carves space through the province’s mountains and terrain. The center’s white façade features polished contours that slink through the landscape while integrating elevated courtyards and walkways, gardens, and paths.
However, the structure’s sinuous shape is not the only part of the building in harmony with the natural environment. The center will incorporate solar panels for power generation, and solar radiation analysis was done to optimize ventilation and light inside. Additionally, the new construction will prioritize locally-produced and recycled materials to achieve a three-star certification in China’s Green Building program, which recognizes buildings that meet exceptional standards for green developments.
The project was devised as part of the city’s existing urban plan to connect a multimedia library with a performing arts theater, multi-functional halls, studios, and exhibition galleries. The library will overlook a full-height atrium and provide multiple individual reading areas as well as collaborative space for group work. In addition to print resources, users will also have access to virtual reality technology and research materials.
On the southern side of the building, the firm has planned a performing arts theatre, which can hold 450 people and is adaptable for various uses. Stacked around the theater, the design also includes space for a multi-functional hall, studios, and galleries which will be used as public areas.
The building acts as a central nucleus for various parts of the city, connecting the city’s commercial and residential district with parks and the river to the south. A metro station will provide direct access to the building for patrons and residents.