China, Nanning 

Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center, China


International competition 1999 – 1st Prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze
Project managers Dirk Heller, Karen Schroeder
Team Christoph Berle, Kai Siebke, Georg Traun, Friedhelm Chlosta, Meike Schmidt, Wencke Eissing-Poggenberg, Stefanie Schupp, Oliver Christ, Jochen Schwarz, Eckhard Send, Iris van Hülst, Thomas Eberhardt
Chinese partner practice Guangxi Architectural Comprehensive Design & Research Institute, Nanning
Structural engineers schlaich bergermann und partner
Technical building equipment HL-Technik
Landscape design Breimann & Bruun
Client Nanning International Convention & Exhibition Co., Ltd.
Construction period 1999–2005
Gross floor area ca. 130,000 m²
Volume ca. 1,200,000 m³



Jan Siefke

The external quality of the exhibition centre is generated with the location on a slope with an altitude difference of approximately 45 m. The Convention and Exhibition Centre resting on a hill radiates the self-confidence and cosmopolitan attitude of a fast growing metropolis. This effect is enhanced towards the outside with the special effect of the domical roof, its axis being directed towards the city. The shape of the translucent dome is reminiscent of an opening blossom, which has become the symbol of Nanning, and therefore defines a new symbol of the city.

The access from the centre is provided via a pedestrian bridge from the exhibition square. Starting from the entrances, comfortable flights of stairs and escalators lead to the four flexibly usable exhibition levels and to a generous entrance fore-court. The exhibition halls are located on both sides along the two-storeyed foyer and can on all levels be flexibly interlinked as groups. The exhibition foyer and the upper exhibition halls are all covered by a common roof structure.

The multi-functional large hall with its folded domical roof and an overall height of 70 m and a hall diameter of 48 m forms the head of the complex and protrudes the city silhouette as a landmark. Its form is created from a filigree steel framework, being covered with a translucent, thermally insulating membrane. This allows a diffuse light to shine through to the city and the surrounding area at night and the "roof crown" above Nanning radiates.