Yunchao Xu/Atelier Apeiron unveils its work in progress on the 142,560 m² Hengqin Culture & Art Complex, a future community focal point in one of China’s fastest growing cities destined to serve the entire Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Six years into the planning, design, and construction of the new complex, Yunchao Xu/Atelier Apeiron’s work is approaching its final stages.
«The complex will house nine departments, but the requirements for each of them were independent and filled with contradictions,» explains Yunchao Xu, lead architect of Atelier Apeiron. «We approached it from the perspective of integrating nine independent buildings into a single complex, and we convinced the client to give each department relative independence in order to proceed with a comprehensive strategy that resolves conflicts and stimulates public energy.»
The unique setting of the Hengqin Culture & Art Complex was not without its challenges. The region’s status as a typhoon-prone area in summer was a challenge requiring special considerations, including numerous wind-resistant material comparisons before deciding upon a light and flexible suspended glass curtain wall as a particularly efficient solution. Another challenging element was how to introduce natural light into such large volumes.
The site of the Hengqin Culture & Art Complex is wedged between existing residential towers and an open city park, and Atelier Apeiron devised a strategy for creating an energetic complex capable of accommodating a multifunctional future. As part of that strategy, the firm espoused an architectural approach defined by large-scale porosity, adapted to the high-density urban context of the site’s surroundings.