The Flexible

The Karamay Expo is designed to host a variety of large-scale manufacturing and equipment shows, yet it has the flexibility to be scaled and subdivided for smaller, more intimate product shows and events.

Karamay, once a small town in China’s northwest, has grown rapidly since oil was discovered nearby in the 1950s, and it will soon become a major city in the country’s interior. NBBJ is master planning the overall city, as well as several smaller districts, the hospital, multiple universities, and the district that contains the city’s new expo center.

Construction is divided into two stages: Phase I (20,000 square meters) and Phase II (40,000 square meters). The exhibition hall of Phase I can be subdivided into two halls of 5,500 square meters each, allowing for two smaller events to occur simultaneously, or to simply reduce the leasable area to allow for smaller events. The column-free exhibition halls permit the entire hall space to house athletic events or other uses that require a large contiguous floor area.

The public lobby and concourses are indoors, in response to Karamay’s harsh winter climate and prevailing winds. The main lobby of Phase I is intentionally oversized to allow for additional overflow exhibits and to accommodate check-in for multiple events; the Phase I lobby will also connect to Phase II via pedestrian bridge. A conference area capable of holding up to 300 people is located one level up from the lobby.