Chinese architecture is known for its glitz and glamor mimicry and the recently completed Lotus Building and People's Park by Melbourne-based studio505 is no exception. Inspired by the lotus flower, one of the most auspicious symbols in Chinese culture, this flower-shaped cultural landmark dramatically rises out of an artificial lake in the city of Wujin, China and shows the three stages of flower development, from young bud to mature bloom. Accompanied by an eight acre park, the spectacular new civic building sets a new design precedent for the region and is meant to catalyze further urban development and economic growth.
Set atop an existing two-story subterranean municipal facility beneath the lake, the Lotus building was completed in 2013 and houses parts of the city’s planning bureau, exhibition halls, and meeting rooms. Wrapped in a series of metal ribbed petals, the interior and exterior are covered in hand laid mosaic tiles that create a smooth gradient of color from white and beige to deep pink, accentuated by colored lighting. A 23 foot long suspended chandelier hangs at the center of the building like the stigma of a flower.
Designed for energy efficiency, the building is cooled using 2500 geothermal piles installed through the base of the artificial lake. According to the architects, the center uses evaporative cooling from the lake surface to operate a thermal chimney for natural ventilation. At night, a light show transforms the Lotus Building into a major art attraction, one that has helped secure the building’s spot as one of the most popular landmarks in Wujin.
Images © John Gollings via studio505