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The Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre wins ABB LEAF Award 2019

Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects has won the ABB LEAF Award for best tall building project at the 2019 LEAF Awards that honours the most impactful designs in our built environment.

Harnessing the energy of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games to create project with a lasting legacy that has enhanced and regenerated its setting, the centre acts as both an anchor and a catalyst for future investment in Nanjing’s Hexi New Town.

Comprised of two hotel towers that include the new Jumeirah Nanjing, a cultural centre with conference facilities, an urban plaza, offices and mixed-use areas, the development initially provided accommodation for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Now in its legacy stage, the centre has fostered investment in Hexi New Town on multiple levels; integrating additional infrastructure with new functions that include the hotels and a venue for Jiangsu Province’s annual conferences.

The cultural centre’s design is a three dimensional calligraphic composition that resonates with Nanjing’s 1,600-year-old tradition of Yunjin – the name given to the intricate brocade threading used by local craftsmen to weave the region’s acclaimed gold and silver fabrics. Like Yunjin thread, a continuous line interweaves throughout the cultural centre connecting it with its earthquake-resistant towers and beyond to the new central business district, riverside park and Jiangxinzhou Island.

The tapering profiles of the towers, at 255m and 315m (Zaha Hadid Architects’ tallest completed towers to date), extend the viewer’s sense of perspective and their trapezoidal floor plans maximise their river-facing frontages.

Mainland China’s first completely top-down/bottom-up tower construction, combining above and below ground construction with extensive design work proceeding in parallel, the project’s construction programme was reduced by a full year. The entire centre was completed 34 months after design began with all works on site lasting only 18 months.

ABB LEAF Awards