Huairou Conference Facilities

Beijing, China | 2003 – 2012

The leaves of a tree are formed with a specific purpose in mind. Stem life is a system that acts as a leaf to channel the exchange of energy between man and nature. This strategy is adaptable to change and anticipates the future growth pattern of the landscape. The branching system ensures the sustainability of the environment by controlling the flows that will be newly integrated: road and pathways, service lanes, pedestrian walkways, below ground servicing, forest irrigation, grey water treatment and re-circulation, power trenches, and conduits through the site. This matrix accommodates human use in a sustainable way that looks forward to the flourishing of Stem life.

The site will transform as buildings are planted in the forest. Buildings are linked through the pathways that allow visitors a chance to discover the wilderness at their own pace. The disposition of the architecture is consciously horizontal in order to prioritise views of nature and encourage the feeling of being enveloped by the woods. Both the experiences outdoors and within the building enclosure will provide a feeling of harmony with nature. The metaphorically permeable skin of the buildings is a porous layer between man and the elements that encourages outlook on the majestic landscape and inspires inner contemplation.