Built for
the 2014 Youth Olympic Games held in Nanjing, China, from Aug. 16 to 28, the Nanjing International Youth Cultural Center is statement architecture for a city experiencing significant growth. The six-story center, designed by London-based Zaha Hadid Architects, combines multipurpose conference rooms with a 505-seat concert hall, a 2,181-seat convention hall, banquet facilities, and support areas. These functions are contained within a series of curvaceous forms representative of a signature style employed by the design firm that is engaging architecturally, but challenging in terms of uniformity of light distribution.

Shu He
Shu He
Shu He
Shu He

Lighting design firm Grand Sight Design International (GSDI) opted to eschew the use of barrel fixtures in favor of parametrically designed light panels, backlit by custom LED fixtures, to harness the dynamism of the architecture. Noting the variable ceiling heights of the interiors, the lighting team likewise varied the aperture size of dimmable, diamond-shaped light panels in the circulation zones to modulate the amount of light to correspond with the volume of the space and to achieve uniform illumination throughout the center. In the concert hall, the round apertures of variable-diameter downlights create a feeling of pointillism on the layered ceiling. Fixture installation is from an outer ceiling layer to ensure uninterrupted ceiling surfaces at their mounting faces. Within each space, same-sized panels are grouped together in control loops on separate dimmers, such that the ceilings can be divided into different zones, which allows for graduated levels of illumination 

for pre-set scenes.

Shu He
Shu He
Shu He
Shu He

In the conference center’s main spaces, GSDI adapted the LED-backlit panels to fit hyper-localized ceiling-to-surface conditions, and in the concert hall, GSDI varied aperture sizes of round downlights. Both approaches allow the lighting to mimic the parametric flow of the spaces with energetic luminaire patterning that complements and emphasizes the architecture into which it is embedded. 

Details 

Project: Nanjing International Youth Cultural Center, Nanjing, China • Client: Nanjing Hexi New Town Construction Headquarters • Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects, London • Lighting Designer: Grand Sight Design International, Hong Kong • Team Members: YanZhi Wang, XinYu Huang, Ron Chow, George Ren • Photographer: Shu He Architectural Photography Studio • Project Size: 2.088 million square feet • Project Cost: 4 billion RMB ($644.1 million) • Lighting Cost: 15 million RMB ($2.4 million) • Watts per Square Foot: 1.34 • Code Compliance: GB-50034-2013 • Manufacturers: CDN Lighting, Dongguan GuoNeng Energy Saving Technology Co., Shenzhen Tops Lighting Technology Co.

Jury Comments

• It’s impressive that they could execute that level of detail on such a grand scale. • The lighting supports the dynamic nature of the architecture’s fluid forms.


Shu He