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In planning a new international trade center, the client intentionally did not want a building that referred to any particular building style, rather one that synthesized Eastern and Western traditions. In addition, the neighbors would not allow any construction that would affect their view of the countryside. The structures that comprise Worldbridge, therefore, create two inviting features on the Maryland topography: one, the office complex, is the seeming result of an orchestrated up-lifting at the earth’s surface; the other, the exhibition hall, is an implosion forming a carefully-wrought cavity. Both buildings are, in fact, composed with the graduated stacking of organically-shaped floor plates. At the office complex, gardens are cultivated where one plate extends beyond the next. The monumental atrium a truncated cone is dramatically lit from above by an oculus. At the base of the interior space, a two-story bowl carves into a highly-detailed and episodic landscape of rock, moving water, and abundant plant life. Adjacent to the extroverted superstructure of the office complex, the sunken exhibition hall dedicated to revolving trade shows offers a sense of spaciousness through the controlled use of vegetation and the introduction of natural light from its hollowed core.


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