Vietnam’s New National Exhibition and Trade Fair Center

The architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners were able to prevail against the competition in the project for Vietnam’s National Exhibition and Trade Fair Center. From nine designs by international architects such as SAMOO Architects & Engineers (Korea), Atkins (Hong Kong) and NIKKEN SEKKEI (Japan), the client, Vingroup, selected the master plan and architectural concept of the Hamburg architects, and announced the result on the 3rd of October.

The design for the main building of the trade center follows the motif of an open lotus flower – Vietnam’s national flower – and, with this shape, is intended to become the unique and unmistakable landmark of the city. The image of a blossom is achieved in layout by arranging the exhibition halls like petals around the chalice of a flower. The architectural concept is reinforced by elegant roof structures consisting of pylons with tensile curved roofs, giving the mass of the buildings a delicate appearance.

The 128 hectare site benefits from good transport connections and is located to the north of Hanoi on the way to the international Noi Bai airport; in the east-west direction it is divided by a river. With a gross floor area of more than 600,000 m², the future National Exhibition and Trade Fair Center to the north of the river will be embedded in a green park landscape which extends to the southern side of the river.

The entrance to the trade fair will be marked by two high-rise hotel and office blocks, which are placed on either side of the access area and which are visible from afar. The first building phase includes the Trade Fair Center, which consists of a conference center and eight exhibition halls. All buildings are grouped in circular fashion around a central open space, which is designed as a water feature with „islands“ and bridges. The entrance hall is placed to the south and the support-free halls, with an exhibition area of 10,000 m² each, are linked with each other by a ring-shaped building called the „Concourse“.

Delivery yards are situated between the various exhibition halls, from where trucks can drive into the sides of the halls; the gates on the sides also serve as connections between the halls. In this way it is possible to combine several areas or separate them from each other, ensuring flexible use and making it possible to organize several trade exhibitions at the same time.

In later building phases, six trade fair halls are planned both in the west and the east, which will be combined to a square overall layout shape and connected to the central buildings of the first phase via glazed connecting galleries.

In addition, a trade exhibition building for regular trade exhibitions is provided in the eastern part of the site; the building is circular in plan and is placed on its own so that it attracts attention from the motorway and main road. To mirror this arrangement, a smaller circular building has been planned which will form the entrance to the western trade exhibition building when all phases of the development have been completed. All elements of the design are separate building units which can be developed at different times and independently of each other.

Design: Meinhard von Gerkan and Nikolaus Goetze with Dirk Heller
Project: leader competition Karen Schroeder
Team: Christoph Berle, Mikael Stenberg, Holger Schmücker, Urs Wedekind
Team Vietnam: Tran Cong Duc (Project management), Duong Nguyen Tien Hong
Client: Vingroup JSC.