China, Shenzhen 

Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center


Competition 2001 - 1st Prize
Design Volkwin Marg with Marc Ziemons
Partner Nikolaus Goetze
Project managers Marc Ziemons, Thomas Schuster
Project team Carsten Plog, Katja Zoschke, Susanne Winter, Dirk Balser, Yingdi Wang, Wei Wu, Martina Klostermann, Iris van Hülst, Flori Wagner, Tina Stahnke, Marina Hoffmann, Heike Kugele,
Otto Dorn, Jeanny Rieger, Karen Seekamp
Chinese partner practice China Northeast Architectural Design Institute, Shenzhen
Structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann und Partner, Sven Plieninger
Mechanical services HL-Technik, Thorsten Reul
Client Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center
Construction period Jan 2002-2004/2005
Gross area 256,000 m²



Christian Gahl

Jan Siefke

The building program of the new exhibition centre in the young city of Shenzhen requires a considerate synthesis of urban planning, architecture and construction, thereby achieving an integral structure with an urban density.

The total exhibition area is located on one level with a rectangular plan of ap-proximately 280 m by 540 m. The elevated entrance and visitor platform is located 7.50 m above exhibition and street level and allows separate access to single halls or combined hall complexes. Due to its elevated position the circulation system in the central axis of the halls is completely separated from the logistic systems of the exhibitors. Consequently this allows an optional allocation of accesses to the exhibition areas below and provides a clear orientation over the complete exhibition proceedings for all visitors.

Along this central zone large, A-shaped steel trestle structures are positioned at intervals of 30 m. These rise to almost 60 m and stem the 360 m long, 60 m wide and 20 m high congress building to a height of more than 15 m above the actual hall structure. The A-shaped trestles have a frame-like stiffening and are interconnected to produce mutual stabilization.

The tube-shaped congress building hovers above the exhibition halls and can according to the respective demands be operated as a separate unit, with fifty per cent of its capacity or in combination with the exhibition area.

The SZCEC with its length of more than 540 m is evocative of the famous Crystal Palace of the London World Exhibition in 1852 and surpasses the large glass hall of the Leipzig Exhibition Centre built in 1996 with double the length.

The glass vault spanning above the nine exhibition halls appears in daylight like a delicate sculpture, at night it radiates like a crystal. The fountains and water cascades of the entrance square are also illuminated and the congress centre receives a coloured illumination from below. The long, horizontal structure forms a contrast to the predominantly vertical aesthetic of the numerous highrise towers, which frame the exhibition centre on both sides.