Hangzhou, China 2008



PROGRAM: multi-purpose event space
CLIENT: Hangzhou Westbrook Investment Co., Ltd.
    SIZE: 28,266 sq ft
STATUS: competition

Triaxial Field lies on the edge of a wetlands area in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. While it is part of a larger development of hotels and villas, it is oriented around the views of the natural wetlands and the water channel. Rather than designing an “object” building, this project is a field that merges landscape and architecture.

The program is a unique event space which provides a chapel-like atmosphere for weddings, musical performances, and theater. Additionally, the building will be the site of large banquets, special events, and conferences.

The key structural component is a triaxially-reinforced, post-tension concrete plane. Its gentle folds create the space below. Slices into the plane reveal the main entrance and the openings into the landscape. The main event space is lit from above by the voids in the structure, making the structure as integral to the light in a manner that is similar to Gothic churches and other sacred spaces.
The project incorporates many sustainable design strategies. Geothermal wells provide heating and cooling for the space via radiant floor slabs. A few skylights open automatically at the uppermost area of the space to induce natural ventilation and supplemental cooling. The glass skylights also include integral solar PVC film for energy generation. The white concrete of the building is an innovative new material that can scrub CO2 from the atmosphere.


  • architect
    • – Steven Holl Architects
    • Steven Holl ( design architect, principal )
    • Li Hu ( partner in charge )
    • Chris McVoy ( partner in charge )
    • Hideki Hirahara ( senior associate in charge )
    • Yimei Chan ( project architect )
    • Kelvin Jia, JongSeo Lee, Pei Shyun Lee, Daijiro Nakayama, Filipe Taboada, Manta Weihermann, Human Tieliu Wu, Lan Wu (project team)
  • associate architects
    • – East China Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.
  • structural engineer
    • – East China Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.
      – Guy Nordenson & Associates
  • MEP engineer
    • – East China Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.
  • interior designer
    • – Steven Holl Architects
  • landscape architect
    • – Steven Holl Architects
      – Belt Collins International PTE Ltd.
  • lighting design
    • – Steven Holl Architects
      – Proteus Lighting