Ningxia International Conference Center–Bringing China and Islam Together in More Ways than One

The China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum is set to move into a new home, as the Ningxia International Conference Center is well into its development process.

The China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum is set to move into a new home, as the Ningxia International Conference Center is well into its development process. tvsdesign, the architecture and design company from Atlanta, is handling the project that is now being built in China’s Ningxia province. The design company is accustomed to the market’s requirements, since this is the firm’s fifth convention and conference center handled on Chinese territory.

The 700,000 square-foot facility will house the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum, a conference dealing with commercial and financial issues between the two areas, first set up in 2010. The large convention center currently has a 2015 deadline in place, in time for the sixth edition of the annual event. The project came to reality after an international competition chose the concept created by the partnership made between tvsdesign and the Ningxia Architecture and Design Institute.

The Ningxia International Conference Center (NXCC) was set to be an architectural landmark for the entire Northwestern province since the beginning, and tvsdesign’s does not disappoint. Set to be built in the Ningxia’s capital city of Yinchuan, the center bears strong influences from the local culture of the Hui population, a predominantly Muslim group that resides in the Ningxia area. According to Senior Project Architect Rob O’Keefe, tvsdesign’s concept “was inspired by Chinese metaphors and strong Islamic artistic patterns, harmoniously merging elements of both cultures.” This would highlight the main purpose the facility would have, that is to house an event aimed at strengthening economic relations between countries in the Arab world, and China.

Technologies used in the development process for NXCC include an encapsulating steel shell whose unique shape is given by stitching a square at the base with a circle at the top. This concept is drawn directly from the cultural legacy of the Chinese and Muslim cultures. The screen structure will be made up of an outer triangular grid surface, which will be overlaid on a hexagonal base grid. This will create a thin space frame of more than 30,000 individual structural framing members. The design calls for a number of interior spaces to be built around a centrally placed outdoor courtyard, useable for public events. This is a strong leitmotif of Islamic architecture.