Dali, China


20,000 square feet

Key Staff

Eric McNevin, Michael Robin, Bohong Qiu, Yiming He, Andrew Wright

Located on a hillside high above Erhai Lake in Dali, China, this new facility is an extension of a five-star resort hotel in a major tourism region of western China. The project is nominally a multipurpose auditorium for special events and conferences. But the client has labeled the project an icon, suggesting that its symbolic presence, readily visible from around the lake perimeter, should communicate a new and progressive rendition of Dali City.

At the heart of the facility is a multi-story flexible event space that can be subdivided in variety of ways to host performances, presentations, conferences, art galleries, film screenings and other events. Two primary concourses surround this internal volume to provide access and indirect controlled natural lighting in the space if desired.

The project site is transformed into an elaborate hillside terrace reminiscent of the traditional hillside rice gardens found in the region. These terraces transform into public pathways around and through the site and culminate in an outdoor amphitheater located below the lifted event center. This careful integration with the surrounding landscape provides opportunities to develop micro-climates on the site and take full advantage of the sweeping views of the lake below.