Urban Ripple is a hyper-stimulating public space designed by 100architects around a newly built exhibition center in Guangzhou, the most populous city of Guangdong Province, China.

Driven by youngster’s lifestyle, the Exhibition Center intends to call the attention of millennials and Gen Z through a wide range of functions, such as Modern Art Gallery, Party Rooms, Cinema, Band Room, Workshop Room, etc.

In order to follow up that narrative, 100architects was commissioned to design a very eye-catching, stimulating and multifunctional public space surrounding the building, aiming to boost the visitor experience before even entering. The hyper-stimulating space is permanently open to public, not only for the exhibition center’s visitors but any passerby, since this area completely belongs to the public realm.

The project is inspired by the famous Zhujiang River (Pearl River), one of the most important icons of Guangzhou, which also gives name to the client’s company. It features a simple yet striking combinative system of geometrized water ripples, where the main public functions for social interaction are placed, and striped urban corridors resembling the flow of the river while suggesting and encouraging pedestrian circulation.

The main space of the project is right in front of the exhibition center; a colorful sunken plaza with seating features, greenery and shading structures, strategically located in the heart of this urban space, contrasting with all the greyscale circulations revolving around it. 

Besides the patterns, the use of color plays a key role in the clear definition of both spaces, the one for staying and engaging socially as well as the one for circulating. Thus, corridors are solved with shades of grey stone pavement, while for injecting vitality to functional spaces, vibrant colors are applied, using as a base shades of aquamarine color. On the other hand, contrasting and energetic colors highlight the urban furniture and other features, in order to call and direct the attention of passersby.

Additionally, the project is not only on the ground floor, but also on the rooftop of the building colonizing with an elevated plaza the top floor of the exhibition center, filling it up with colors, shading structures and seating features.

Urban Ripple is equipped with several sitting features, amphitheaters for gathering or public performances, lounge areas, stools and tables under canopies to rest under shadows, as well as playful and interactive features, offering joyful and entertainment spaces for all age groups.

Altogether, the proposal creates a very uncommon and surprising public space, beautifying the surroundings of the exhibition center while boosting and stimulating visitors’ senses and experiences in the public realm.

Project details

Design: 100architects
Project Location: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
Typology: Public space
Built: 2021
Area: 4,000 m2
Design team: Marcial Jesús, Javier González, Mónica Páez, Lara Broglio, Ponyo Zhao, Keith Gong, Cosima Jiang, Hayley Huang, Michelle Aldora, Jango Zhang, Yuntong Liu
Project management team: Jenny Fan, Nicholas Lv, Eva Jiang
Client: Zhujiang Properties
Photo credits: © Guo Xiaoliang
Video credits: © Lalo Lopez



100architects is an architecture studio that does not make buildings (at least not in the conventional way), but focuses on public spaces and spaces for entertainment of all kinds and variations. A team of young creative architects who focus their work at the intersection of placemaking, street art, landscape architecture and urban interventions, specialising in street architecture and urban interventions, both ephemeral and permanent architectural objects that encourage the occurrence of social dynamics and unique experiences, creating landmarks on a human scale. 100 is a professional studio founded in 2013 in Shanghai and is currently led by 3 partners – Marcial Jesus (Chile), Javier Gonzalez (Spain) and Jenny Fan (China).