Update: this project was just named project of the year by ARCASIA (2014).
The Dai Lai Conference Center by Vo Trong Nghia Architects is part of a resort outside Hanoi, located between Dai Lai lake and the mountains. The conference center sits alongside the entrance road to the resort.
One would expect a conference center to gather people together of shared interests to teach and learn from their peers. Upon arriving at the Dai Lai center, one is confronted with a great arcing stone wall, the form of which inherently suggests a circle, the ultimate collective, gathering geometry, and one that reiterates the curve of the road upon which one arrives. The stone wall, being stone, also suggests protection, shelter, separation, and connects to our shared primal history of stone walls as defensive constructions for towns and cities and provinces, such as the Great Wall up north.
The hilly landscape is manipulated to offer a dale of sorts, which becomes the entrance to the Center, as you can see below:
|Thatched roof with brick walls and encircling stone wall|
|The landscape around the Conference Center, gathered by the arcing stone wall|
All photos © Hiroyuki Oki
|Section, with the stone wall to the left|