Interior Space Award of Excellence: Jumeirah Nanjing Hotel & International Youth Cultural Centre, Nanjing

Shao-Wei Huang
Senior Associate
Zaha Hadid Architects, London

Sculpture as Signpost: Using Building Morphology for Wayfinding

Legibility and orientation within the building were the key drivers when designing the interior of the Jumeirah Nanjing Hotel & Cultural Centre. As a building with a vast five-story podium containing a theater, concert hall and conference center, and three different tower functions (two hotels and one office section), it provides for numerous access points with their own strong identities, creating clear addresses for different user groups. Each of those main entrances immediately connects to a multi-story and daylit entrance area, explaining the functions within and providing strong cues for orientation. The conference center’s access leads through a double-height theater lobby, and a monumental flight of escalators provides access to all levels of the podium via a full-height atrium, allowing for dramatic views all the way through the 40-meter-high podium. Terminating on a rooftop terrace advertised by large window openings towards the atrium, all levels and functions are presented around one clearly legible vertical plaza. The main tower access lobby cuts all the way through the five-story podium and ends in a footprint-wide glass roof, exposing the full height of the taller tower, which is virtually standing as a solitaire in the main lobby space.

View Building on The Skyscraper Center