subscribe to ENR magazine subscribe
contact us
careers industry jobs
events events
Dodge Data & Analytics
ENR Logo
Web access will be provided
as part of your subscription.

Global Award of Merit, Cultural: TsingTao Pearl Visitors Center

Text size: A A
Photo Courtesy of Robert E. Miller
Mass Timber columns were fabricated in Canada; ceiling panels were fabricated in China.
Photos Courtesy of Robert E.Miller
Visitors center was designed and built in eight months.
----- Advertising -----

The use of architecturally expressed mass timber is not only exotic in China, it is considered a coup by the contest's judges, who were impressed with the building team's ability to work with the owner and the strict Chinese authority to dispel concerns about combustibility, durability and more.

StructureCraft devised a method to work on two continents to produce the 28,000-sq-ft visitors center's free-form, curved-wood plate-and-cable structure. All design work and prefabrication of the complex components—into a kit of parts for assembly by Chinese workers in Qingdao—took place in Canada. There, 93 glue-laminated wood columns of varying length were individually tapered, milled and fitted with custom universal connectors.

Concurrently, based on shop drawings and jigs generated from the frame's 3D model, the assembly of mass wood elements took place in China. The 39 roof panels were site-fabricated using nail-laminated dimensional lumber, indexed slightly between laminations to create the warped shape. The entire building was designed and built in eight months. An equivalent project in North America would take about two and a half years, says StructureCraft.

Project Team

Owner: Vanke, Qingdao, China

Design Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Seattle

Timber Designer-Builder: StructureCraft Builders Inc., Delta, British Columbia

Contractor: Vanke

Structural Engineer: Fast + Epp, Vancouver, British Columbia


----- Advertising -----
  Blogs: ENR Staff   Blogs: Other Voices  
Critical Path: ENR's editors and bloggers deliver their insights, opinions, cool-headed analysis and hot-headed rantings
Project Leads/Pulse

Gives readers a glimpse of who is planning and constructing some of the largest projects throughout the U.S. Much information for pulse is derived from McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge.

For more information on a project in Pulse that has a DR#, or for general information on Dodge products and services, please visit our Website at

Information is provided on construction projects in following stages in each issue of ENR: Planning, Contracts/Bids/Proposals and Bid/Proposal Dates.

View all Project Leads/Pulse »

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.