The building's massing, composed of three parallel volumes, allows the landscape to flow both between and beneath them, as well as within. Inside, the interior is structured into multiple plateaus, connected by ramps in a systematic manner, forming a continuous and multidirectional maze to be explored without a predetermined order.

Xi'an Creativity Pavilion

TYPE Cultural, Exhibition, Public space
STATUS Competition 1. Prize, Built
LOCATION Xi'an, China
YEAR 2011
CLIENT Chan Ba Ecological District

DESIGN TEAM Katy Barkan, Eva Castro, Nicoletta Gerevini, Mehran Gharleghi, Evan Greenberg, Ulla Hell, Holger Kehne, LAUR Studio, Tom Lee, Dongyun Liu, Peter Pichler, Danai Sage, Benedikt Schleicher, Xiaowei Tong, Chuan Wang, Ying Wang

COLLABORATORS Groundlab, ARUP, London, Beijing; John Martin and Associates, Los Angeles

The Creativity Pavilion, the main building of the Expo, is situated on the lake's edge, serving as the terminus of the central axis. It is designed to interact with the lake and frame the pagoda on the opposite shore. Connecting with a series of piers extending into the water, the built volumes blend seamlessly with the ground, blurring the distinction between landscape and architecture.

The exterior design of the building challenges traditional hierarchies and expectations. When approached from the North, it appears as a series of mounds, but from the opposite perspective, it becomes sculptural and iconic, with three long cantilevered volumes extending over the lake. The spaces beneath these cantilevers are both spatially and socially engaging: away from the building's entrance, visitors gather on sloped decks in pleasant shade, illuminated by sunlight reflected off the lake, to rest and reflect.

In terms of materiality, the Creativity Pavilion seamlessly integrates with the ground, with its lower portion clad in the same stone panels as the surrounding landscape. Above, solid cast bronze panels sourced locally envelop the building's sides and roof, while bands of greenery cover it like a tessellated net.