An Australian architecture firm recently unveiled what may be the single coolest-looking municipal facility on the planet - the stunning Lotus Building in the city of Wujin, China.
Officially titled the Lotus Building and People's Park, the 3.5-hectare site features three connected buildings, each representing the lotus flower in different stages of bloom. The landmark structure rises out of an artificial lake in the center of the city, giving the appearance of a flower on a pond.
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The Lotus Building incorporates some radical architecture: Visitors to the complex actually enter from beneath, via an underwater tunnel connecting the park and the shore. Interior and exterior surfaces are composed of beige, white and stainless steel tiles, with a giant suspended chandelier at the apex of the center structure.
"The Lotus Building is an addition to an existing double story subterranean municipal facility situated beneath an existing artificial lake," write the designers on the Studio 505 project page. "The building houses parts of the planning bureau as well as new exhibition halls meeting rooms and conference centers."
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The project has also been designed to minimize energy usage, by way of 2,500 geothermal piles driven into the ground beneath the artificial lake. A "thermal chimney" in the central building employs evaporative cooling from the lake surface to augment the traditional air conditioning systems. At night, the integrated lighting systems gradually cycle through different color combinations every 30 seconds.
Check out the video below, or go to the Lotus Building design page for some incredible interior photos, including a conference room that looks like it was teleported back from the year 2295.
Credit: Studio 505