Nestled between the mountains of the Yabuli region sits an elegant shell-shaped building that blends seamlessly into the wintery landscape. MAD Architects designed the Yabuli Conference Center for the Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum, or Yabuli CEF, to house their annual summit. This new center solidifies Yabuli’s reputation as “the Davos of China,” which compares the area to the renowned economic forum in Davos, Switzerland. Entrepreneurs will be able to attend business events, training seminars, and much more.
The design was inspired by the rough landscape and snowy mountains of Yabuli. But instead of completely mimicking or competing with the land, MAD decided to abstract the experience of camping in the wilderness. The subtly contoured form is meant to look and feel like a tent propped between the mountains with a thick outer shell that seems to float above the lower glass façade.
Images of the interior reveal a surprising contrast from the surrounding white landscape. While the building as an object seeks to blend into a natural landscape, the main interior spaces are more centralized. Long vertical strips guide the eye to the symbolic skylight while the subtle parametric bending creates interesting shadows that shift throughout the day in the natural light.
The building is semi-symmetrical with both sides converging at the elegant skylight. This feature not only allows natural light to enter the warm interior but also signifies gathering around a campfire where like-minded people can come together. “It acts as a symbolic metaphor for the bright ideas and brilliant discussions generated during the events held within,” describes MAD.
Luckily, you do not have to be an entrepreneur or business person to enjoy these symbolic and grand spaces. The Yabuli Conference Center also includes a museum, library, public exhibition hall, conference spaces, break-out meeting rooms, multiple auditoriums, and other flexible-use areas intended to make it accessible to the public. The modern design, along with its multi-use building program focused on the spread of knowledge and good ideas, fully embraces the entrepreneurial mission of the Yabuli CEF.