Xinglong Visitor Center

For the visitor center of Xinglong – an old Chinese fishing village now transformed into a coastal resort – Atelier Alter recreates the impression of numerous fishing lodges on the island in a zigzag building, incorporating tropical plants and fishing island craftsmanship.

Atelier Alter, Xinglong Visitor Center, Xinglong Town, Hainan, China
Strategically sited at the entrance to the town, the visitor center designed by Atelier Alter unfolds the urban transformation of Xinglong – from a fishing village to a coastal resort.
The architecture of Xinglong Visitor Center inherently starts from an urban scale. The site for the project is a trapezoidal narrow lot adjacent to the entryway of the town.
Atelier Alter, Xinglong Visitor Center, Xinglong Town, Hainan, China. Photo Courtesy Atelier Alter
Atelier Alter, Xinglong Visitor Center, Xinglong Town, Hainan, China. Photo Courtesy Atelier Alter

The architects proposed a linear zigzag building that places most of the building volume in the middle and leaves the two ends with landscape and lighter constructions. Meanwhile, building volume is pushed back from the street to create a linear plaza joint by semi-enclosed open spaces. Approaching from both ends, the architecture opens up to the street in a dramatic way.

The program for visitor center includes exhibition, management, shops and caterings. To response to the mixed-use program, rather than giving a definitive formal statement, Atelier Alter tries to recreate the impression about the fishing island, by juxtaposing different types of fishing lodges from the island on top of each other, in various scales and directions. The project retains the memory of the fishing island in the making of architecture, by translating the craftsmanship from the island into a double curtain wall system. The structure expression is also analogous to the tropical plants on the island, emphasizing slender columns and overreaching branches.


Xinglong Visitor Center, Xinglong Town, Hainan, China
Program: visitor center
Architects: Atelier Alter
Principals in charge: Xiaojun Bu, Yingfan Zhang
Project Architect:
Luotao Bai, Xiaoli Sun (China Northeast Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute Co. Ltd)
Design Team:
Yong Zhang, Jianqi Tang, Rui Liu, Chuanzhang Li, Kai Qin,Tongwei Liu, Zhenwei Li, Bida Wei, Haifeng Zhang
Local Architect:
China Northeast Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute Co.Ltd
Civil/Structure/MEP Engineer:
Rongen Jing, Bo Yang, Zhiqiang Bi,Junwei Yang, Yonghong Yang, Zhe Li, Ming Cheng, Wei Li
General Contractor:
Guangxi Southern-China Construction Group Co. Ltd
Cost: $23.1 Million
Area: 15,643 sqm
Completion: 2014

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