Thanks to its amazing scenery, Guilin is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations. A prefecture-level city in the northeast of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, its name means “Forest of Sweet Osmanthus,” owing to the large number of fragrant sweet Osmanthus trees located in the region.
Located on the west bank of the Lijiang River, the scenery around Guilin has been called the finest under heaven. The mountains, the mirror-like Lijiang River, the many caves and the fantastic rock peaks form what are known as the “Four Wonders of Guilin” − locally known for their green mountains, clean water, strange caves and beautiful stones.
For architects who take their cues from nature, the city and the surrounding region present an array of features that inspire sympathetic design ideas. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Guilin Wanda Cultural Tourism Exhibition Center, which has leveraged the capabilities and aesthetics of glass to create a truly stunning effect that mirrors and complements the local surroundings, thanks to elegant curves and striking 3D geometry.
Designed by the Teng Yuan Design Institute, Qingdao, the center itself exhibits a simple cube geometry, with an exterior curtain wall, but the various fins and structures surrounding it − which deploy SentryGlas® Ionoplast interlayers from Trosifol™ − completely break up the clean, straight lines to deliver an array of curves and sweeping shapes that are designed to illustrate the surrounding countryside.
According to Mingbo Chen, General Manager at Guangdong South Bright Glass Technologies Co., Ltd., the laminator for the project, “In the principal architect Wei Peng’s view, the penetration, reflection and refraction of light on the façade, as well as the reflection of the building on the water surface, will contribute to capture the soul of the natural landscape along the Lijiang River.
“There were three primary glazed elements in this project,” he explained, “the glass fins, a façade for the main building and a glass wall in the pool. Considering the structural strength, weathering and edge stability required across all three applications, SentryGlas® was deemed the most suitable interlayer for this project. In total the project comprised 353 glass fins, a 134-piece façade and over 86 pieces to make up the glass wall for the pool.”