Vanke·City Growth Hall

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In the eastern suburb memory in Chengdu, China, MDO has transformed an old state-run factory into a vivid city hall, maintaining traces and history of the existing building. The design team prioritized a clear transition between old and new, inserting a series of new contrasting objects which blur the boundaries between architecture and landscape, and create a new social dialogue with the city, and a vibrant mixed-use program.

The original building founded in 1958, held the Hongguang electronic tube factory, which produced once oscilloscopes and kinescopes for the military. The old structure was left to ruin while the other neighboring buildings have become part of a thriving cultural and design hub. As a continuity of the past, the oscilloscope became the design’s starting point, and the ‘burst of energy’ was extracted as the element throughout the project. As described, this ‘explosion of energy’ was seen as the spatial concept of the ‘big bang of knowledge’. The explosion begins in the center of the old structure, while the energy splits to create new spatial forms, which are mapped to all corners of the old factory, interspersing with the historic walls and column networks. In the explosive proliferation of space, technological materials and lights clash and blend with the old factory building, bringing new sensory impact and dramatic feeling to visitors. These points are all connected by the central staircase, which serves as the social heart.