Haikou Xixiu Park Visitor Center, Hai Kou Shi, China

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Nestled amidst the verdant vegetation and serenaded by the gentle symphony of nearby waves, this architecture stands as an oval pebble plucked from the shore, harmoniously blending traditional wisdom with contemporary design, providing visitors with an extraordinary setting to explore and immerse. Situated in the southern region of Haikou City, a coastal city in China known for its luxuriant tropical scenery and abundant natural resources, the west coast area has leveraged its parks as exhibition spaces to showcase the distinctive features and rich culture of the locale. At the entrance of Haikou Xixiu Park, adjacent to the main road and the north underground parking lot, the visitor center assumes the role of a prominent landmark. Its architectural and landscape design respects the park’s layout, ingeniously manipulating curvilinear borders to create an oval structure that melds with the site’s contours.

The architects draw inspiration from Hainan’s coastal culture, conscientiously considering the local tropical environment. We have devised a fresh roof form, playfully twisting the traditional thatched roofs of local cottages by flipping them upside down. Complying with the basic requirements of shading and sheltering from heavy precipitation and abundant sunlight, our three-dimensional curved reverse-slope roof achieves rainwater harvesting while immersing visitors in a dynamic spatial experience.

The visitor center boasts a protruding roof that gracefully cascades in four levels, tracing the curves reminiscent of water movements, and paying homage to the region’s traditional residential forms. The facade is entirely enveloped in highly transparent ultra-white glass, fostering an open and unobstructed interior space that provides visitors with a 360° panoramic view of the park. The translucent glass facade from the exterior creates an illusion of the hovering roof gently resting upon the rainforest.

To further enhance the architectural composition, the architects have incorporated perforated aluminum sunshade louvers of varying lengths into the glass curtain wall. These elements generate an undulating rhythmic wave, echoing with the coastal features. While adding visual interest to the facade, these panels and the protruding roof ensure a comfortable temperature within the interior spaces, contributing to reduced energy consumption.

The design of the structure pays homage to the park’s existing layout, transforming the curvilinear edges into an elliptical form that harmonizes with the surrounding context, all the while exuding the characteristics of the city and respecting the natural environment. The inner courtyard creates an expansive and open area that contrasts with the solid architectural spaces, providing visitors with a transitional experience as they approach the center from the park. The exterior facade, adorned with a glistening titanium aluminum roof, ensures the building stands out amidst its surroundings, while the inner roof features wood-grained aluminum panels that foster a dialogue with the natural context.