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Dalian opens its iconic convention center
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The northeastern city of Dalian celebrated the opening of its most iconic building one week ago, the Dalian International Convention Center. Designed by world-renowned Austrian architecture team Coop Himmelblau, the center finally opened after four years of construction. For some the architecture resembles a seashell while for some others it resembles a flying saucer.

The surface of the convention center is comprised of a million pieces of aluminum plates that reflect light according to the time of day or the weather.

The deconstructive shape of the building is unique to China.

Coop Himmelblau, a pioneer in deconstructive architecture, has designed many world famous buildings such as the BMW Welt in Munich and the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. The city of Dalian finally chose the Austrian team's design out of six top global architecture firms.

"The Dalian International Convention Center is comparable to the world's most famous modern buildings. As one of the new world landmarks, it will also create a new urban lifestyle," said Wolfgang Haid, the architect in charge of the project.

The Dalian International Convention Center is 59 meters high, covers an area of 4.3 hectares and has a total construction area of 146,800 square meters.

The underground floor is used as a garage and logistics service space. There are also four floors above ground, including a hall on the first floor; a multi-media workshop, equipment room and comprehensive service area on the second floor; and a 1,800-person-capacity multi-functional hall and six 300-to-800-person-capacity large and medium meeting rooms on the third floor.

The fourth floor houses 26 small meeting rooms measuring 60 to 80 square meters each, two 32-seat multi-functional VIP rooms, and two multimedia meeting rooms.

The 1,650-seat grand theatre stands at the central area stretching from the second floor to the fourth floor. It is designed for various activities like large theatrical performances. Participants, guests, media and actors all have their own space and path to enter and exit.

During the same week, Hainan Airlines inaugurated the first direct link from Northeast China to the United States with a service between Dalian and Seattle.

Edited by Zhao Qian and Michael Thai