Beijing’s New China International Exhibition Center — the largest international exhibition center in China — is set to become even larger with Zaha Hadid Architects’ competition-winning Phase II designs. Inspired by traditional Chinese glazed tubular ceramic tile roofing, the new copper-colored buildings feature curvaceous forms and large rounded windows that give the project a futuristic flair. In addition to integrating solar arrays and a smart building management system into the buildings, the architects also plan to use modular construction and fabrication methods to further minimize the project’s carbon footprint. 

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A pond in front of a courtyard where people mill around in front of a large building with curved rooftops.

The International Exhibition Center is strategically located next to Beijing’s Capital International Airport in Shunyi District, an area that’s home to large communities of foreign expatriates. As part of the government’s vision to elevate Beijing as a leading center of knowledge and International exchange, the venue will be expanded with a 438,500-square-meter Phase II project that will not only provide more space for conferences, trade fairs and industry expos but also welcome residents with a comprehensive program of events and attractive public spaces.

A green courtyard where people mill around in front of a large building with a copper-colored and glass facade.

The expansion will be organized along a central north-south axis that connects the east and west exhibition halls as well as the conference center and hotel at the north of the site. Shared courtyards interspersed in between the buildings provide informal meeting areas and space for landscaped gardens, cafes and outdoor public events. Circulation will be optimized with the separation of pedestrian from vehicular traffic as well as the use of secondary bridges that link the upper levels of buildings. 

A bird's-eye view of a futuristic-looking building lit up in purple and blue with wishbone-shaped structures on the roof.

Related: ZHA completes LEED Gold-targeted building with world’s largest atrium in Beijing

The copper-colored buildings feature a composite rounded roof system that not only provides insulation and maximum sound absorption but also supports an efficient and lightweight large-span structure for column-free, flexible interior spaces. Modular construction will help minimize material waste and construction time. To minimize embodied carbon and emissions, the buildings will be topped with solar panels and integrated rainwater collection and graywater recycling systems. Natural ventilation will be optimized and supported by high-efficiency HVAC equipment when necessary. 

+ Zaha Hadid Architects

Images by Atchain, Slashcube, BrickVisual and ZHA