Meandering Valleys: Zaha Hadid Architects’ Inspiration for Jinghe New City Culture and Art Centre

June 23, 2022



Rick Formalejo

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), a British architecture studio, has won an international competition to design the Jinghe New City Culture and Art Centre in the Shaanxi province, China. The art center will span an eight-lane motorway in Xi’an, the largest and the capital city of the province. This project is set to be built as part of the Jinghe New City, a growing science and technology hub with new scientific research institutes driven by environmental awareness. 

Known for its immense futuristic and profound deconstructivist designs, the architect explains that the design of the building blends with the surrounding landscape. It is meant to mimic the valleys carved by the Jinghe River through the mountains and landscapes of Shaanxi province. It will take the form of a series of meandering volumes, courtyards, and outdoor areas used for cultural and recreational activities.

“Organized as a series of flowing volumes, layers and surfaces interconnecting with courtyards and landscapes, the design defines a sequence of interior and exterior cultural and recreational spaces for its community,” Zaha Hadid Architects explained. 

The Jinghe New City Culture and Art Centre is perfect for the Jinghe New City as it grows to be a center for developing industries focusing on new energy, materials, artificial intelligence, and aerospace. The New City Culture and Art Centre will be within the Jinghe Bay Academician Science and Technology Innovation district of the city. 

Moreover, the building’s design unifies the city’s existing urban masterplan. It aims to connect the multimedia library to the north of Jinghe Avenue with the new performing arts theater, multi-function halls, studios, and exhibition galleries to the south through elevated courtyards, gardens, and paths. 

The structure will also help connect the city’s commercial and residential districts to the north with parkland to the south via gently sloping ramps. 

The multimedia library will have terraces that overlook its full-height atrium with diffusing skylights. This will provide different public reading zones, integrating both print publications and immersive virtual reality technologies. 

The performing arts theater will be at the southern side of the avenue. It can accommodate up to 450 people and a variety of events. The theater will be surrounded by the multi-function hall, studios, and galleries to share public areas that promote accessibility and inter-disciplinary collaboration. 

Zaha Hadid Architects conducted solar irradiation analysis and responsive site planning to optimize the center’s use of natural ventilation and daylight. This is also to accommodate the mild temperature climate of the city. The architect plans to use locally-produced materials by incorporating photovoltaic panels for on-site power generation, rainwater collection, and a high recycled content. This will allow them to receive a 3-star certification in China’s Green Building program. 

Photo from Zaha Hadid Architects

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