The project designed by Vienna-based architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au has both to reflect the promising modern future of Dalian and its tradition as an important port, trade, industry and tourism city.

The formal language of our project is not pictographic, but associative; it will combine and merge the rational structure and organization of its modern conference center typology with the floating spaces of traditional Asian architecture as well as with a design reminescent of the soft surfaces generated by the forces of the sea.

A public zone at ground level allows for differentiating accessibility for the different groups of users, with the shopping and exhibition facilities directly connected to the conference center providing dramatic sight axis within the building. The actual performance and conference spaces are situated at +15 m above the entrance hall. The grand theater, with a capacity of 1,600 seats and a stage tower, directly opposite of a flexible conference hall for 2,500 seats, is positioned at the core in the center of the building.

With this arrangement the main stage can be used for the classical theater auditorium as well as for the flexible multipurpose hall. The main auditorium is additionally equipped with backstage areas like in traditional theaters and opera houses. This scheme is appropriate to broaden the range of options for the use of this space: from convention, musical, theater even up to classical opera, with very little additional investment. The main auditorium has the option to get equipped with a flexible floor providing all possible utilization from banquet to parliamentary seating.

The smaller conference spaces are arranged like pearls around this core, providing very short connections between the different areas, thus saving time while changing between the different units. Most conference rooms and the circulation areas have direct daylight from above.

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