Sansha Visitor Center Proposal

The Sansha Visitor Center is a proposal for the city of Sansha to provide a place to inform, help, educate about the island. The project also provides office spaces and support spaces for press and media. The center focuses primarily on creating a unique building that will become the icon and tourist branding for the island.

Sansha, Hainan, China

Design Concept:
Sansha literally means "three sands" which defines the island position because island sits on the border of three countries, which are Philippines, Vietnam and China. The location concept is directly reflected by form the three wing design. The exterior skin is a metaphor for the three sands. Each wing becomes the adjacent roof as a gesture that this island is the convergence of three countries.

Due to the lack of materials on the island, the structure of the project must be shipped to site. Hence the design utilizes simple construction techniques and the use of pre fabrication to help simplify the construction process. The primary structural system a spread footing system with concrete columns that supports a light weight concrete floor system with the primary exterior cladding comprising of a generic operable glazing system to promote vernacular architecture. The aluminum cladded does not only serve as an ascetic purpose but help integrate the skylights to provide natural lighting in the project.

One of the most important aspect of the project is to make the project as a low energy consumption project. To achieve this, the design allows one third of the facade to be operable for cooling and heating. With the facade being mostly transparent, it also promotes the use of natural lighting.

The spatial design uses an open planning concept by leaving the first floor to be a free plan , such as providing for areas such as the visitor information center, media center/ theater and art gallery. The second floor provides support programs for the first floor programs, such as the kids’ center, customer survey center and community/office meeting rooms. Finally, the third floor is more private and houses the official offices and the travel bureau complaint office.

The urban aspect of the center plaza space is to make the project feel more of an event space than a bureaucratic center for visitors. The center plaza allows people to be able to gather and provides a space for program to happen after hours, such as seeing the sunset or sunrise. The space gives locals and tourist a convergent point. This urban canopy is a space that has no program but provide a space for urban program to be created, such as learning tradition Chinese folk dance, to a space for senior citizens to escape the summer heat. The design of the canopy is essential to make locals and visitors to feel welcome.