Mixed-Use Development Powered by Water-Treatment Plant

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Kunming is a picturesque city in southwestern China with spring-like weather all year round. Dianchi is Kunming’s largest lake with over 298 square kilometers of water area. The city’s number seven municipal water treatment plant sits by the northwestern corner of the lake. It plays an important role in keeping the water clean and clear and free from pollutants. We were hired by the plant’s parent company to master plan the plant’s operation as well as the future growth of other services that the plant can offer to the surrounding region, the city, and the water protection industry of China.

In addition to providing future growth capacity with new facilities for the water treatment core functionalities, our design proposed a master plan that will best organize the plant lake frontage with a conference center building, offices, a hotel, and retail. We designed elevated open pathways that will bring visitors into the plant hovering over the water treatment pools. This pathway will also be used by the community residents of the complex as an exercise and interaction space.

To best preserve the lake view, our design used a stepped volume to control the building massing and uses horizontal lines in conjunction with a curved facade to blend the architecture with the expansive water horizon. ┬áThe facade is reflective of the theme of water – well soaked in the fluidity of its existence, i.e. the spirit of water. It is the multidimensional expression of free spirit that is found in this amazing site. Additionally, the architectural style emphasized multiangle viewing of the surrounding Lakeview, with maximum openness of building volume. Curvature is pronounced at every detail of the building envelope, colors are carefully subdued and transparency is guaranteed. And, the elegance of the whole building from all viewing angles is achieved.

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