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China Takes Steps to Stop its "Weird Architecture"

07:00 - 26 February, 2016
China Takes Steps to Stop its "Weird Architecture", CCTV by OMA. Image © OMA
CCTV by OMA. Image © OMA

China has become home to some of the world’s most outlandish architectural landmarks of the 21st century. Hangzhou is home to a replica of the Eiffel Tower, located in a luxury real estate development, and Shanghai’s World Financial Center is often referred to as “The World’s Largest Bottle Opener.” However, all of these zany designs may soon come to a halt following a directive issued by the State Council, China’s cabinet, and the Communist Party’s Central Committee on Sunday, reports the New York Times.

The directive says “no” to any architecture considered “oversized, xenocentric, weird, and devoid of cultural tradition.” In their place should be buildings designed as “suitable, economic, green, and pleasing to the eye.”

Midwest Inland Port Financial Town / Hallucinate Design Office

20:00 - 24 February, 2016
Midwest Inland Port Financial Town / Hallucinate Design Office, © Javier Callejas Sevilla
© Javier Callejas Sevilla

© Javier Callejas Sevilla © Javier Callejas Sevilla © Javier Callejas Sevilla © Javier Callejas Sevilla +15

BIAD's Proposal for Shekou Sea World Culture and Arts Center

12:00 - 23 February, 2016
BIAD's Proposal for Shekou Sea World Culture and Arts Center, Courtesy of 2A2 Design Department, BIAD
Courtesy of 2A2 Design Department, BIAD

Beijing Institute of Architectural Design's (BIAD) 2A2 Design Department has unveiled their proposal for the Culture and Arts Center serving the newly developed Shekou Sea World area in Shenzhen. The design takes a rare attempt to optimize the interaction between commercial and cultural spaces, by taking advantage of the surrounding seascape.

Courtesy of 2A2 Design Department, BIAD Courtesy of 2A2 Design Department, BIAD Courtesy of 2A2 Design Department, BIAD Courtesy of 2A2 Design Department, BIAD +10

V+ Lounge by the West Lake / LYCS Architecture + Studio Waffles

20:00 - 22 February, 2016
V+ Lounge by the West Lake / LYCS Architecture + Studio Waffles, Courtesy of Studio Waffles, LYCS Architecture
Courtesy of Studio Waffles, LYCS Architecture

Courtesy of Studio Waffles, LYCS Architecture Courtesy of Studio Waffles, LYCS Architecture Courtesy of Studio Waffles, LYCS Architecture Courtesy of Studio Waffles, LYCS Architecture +21

  • Architects

  • Location

    Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • Design Team (Studio Waffles)

    Oscar Wang,Evan Wen,MI Anyu,Nissa Zhang
  • Design Team (LYCS Architecture)

    RUAN Hao, HE Yulou, LAI Zhenyu,ZHANG Qiuyan, WU Miao, XU Weizhuo,XU Jing,LUO Jingzhong
  • Area

    2779.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Studio Waffles, LYCS Architecture

Exhibition: Radical Cairo at the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Architecture

09:23 - 22 February, 2016
Exhibition: Radical Cairo at the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Architecture

The 2015 Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism exhibits, makes, and discusses architecture that reflects the reuse and rethinking of existing buildings, the re-imagination of our cities, and the remaking of our daily lives by design. It is be a biennale of fragments, not abstract plans; of collage, not grids; of tactical urbanism, not top-down strategies. The ETH Zurich Master of Advanced Studies Program in Urban Design – chaired by Marc Angélil and directed by Charlotte Malterre-Barthes – has investigated informal settlements in Cairo, looking into designs for affordable housing units in the neighborhood of Ard-el-Liwa.

DCA Workspace Renovation / DCA

22:00 - 19 February, 2016
DCA Workspace Renovation / DCA, © Chen Qiang, Chen Jianru
© Chen Qiang, Chen Jianru

© Chen Qiang, Chen Jianru © Chen Qiang, Chen Jianru © Chen Qiang, Chen Jianru DCA Workspace Renovation / DCA +20

  • Architects

  • Location

    Shanghai,China
  • Design Team

    Chen Qiang, Chen Jianru, Feng Xuepeng
  • Area

    73.6 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

China Academy of Arts’ Folk Art Museum / Kengo Kuma & Associates

22:00 - 17 February, 2016
China Academy of Arts’ Folk Art Museum / Kengo Kuma & Associates, © Eiichi Kano
© Eiichi Kano

© Eiichi Kano © Eiichi Kano © Eiichi Kano © Eiichi Kano +25

MVRDV Designs Shopping Center with Pearlescent Façade in Beijing

12:00 - 16 February, 2016
MVRDV Designs Shopping Center with Pearlescent Façade in Beijing, Courtesy of MVRDV
Courtesy of MVRDV

Exterior construction has almost wrapped up on MVRDV’s Chongwenmen M-Cube shopping center in Beijing, featuring a shimmering façade that changes color from grey to pearlescent. The approximately 40,000 square meter center sits in the central Chongwenmen district, just moments from the Forbidden City, and will serve as a centralized hub for retail, cuisine and leisure. The project is set to be completed in summer of this year.

Tianzhu Marketing Center / Tsushima Design Studio

19:00 - 12 February, 2016
Tianzhu Marketing Center / Tsushima Design Studio, © Masao Nishikawa
© Masao Nishikawa

© Masao Nishikawa © Masao Nishikawa © Masao Nishikawa © Masao Nishikawa +18

PLP Unveils Pearl River Delta's Tallest Building as Part of New Masterplan

13:30 - 11 February, 2016
PLP Unveils Pearl River Delta's Tallest Building as Part of New Masterplan, Exterior Rendered View. Image © Luxigon
Exterior Rendered View. Image © Luxigon

British firm PLP has unveiled their design for a large complex at the heart of the Pearl River Delta in China. The master plan comprises four buildings: the Platform for Contemporary Arts, the Lizhi Park Tower, the Concourse, and the Nexus - a 600-meter tall office and hotel tower that will be the masterplan's centerpiece and the region's tallest skyscraper.

Exterior Rendered View. Image © Luxigon Exterior Rendered Night View. Image © Luxigon Aerial Rendered View. Image Courtesy of PLP Architecture Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of PLP Architecture +20

Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies / Mario Cucinella Architects

22:00 - 9 February, 2016
Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies / Mario Cucinella Architects, © Daniele Domenicali
© Daniele Domenicali

© Daniele Domenicali © Daniele Domenicali © Daniele Domenicali © Daniele Domenicali +27

  • Architects

  • Location

    Ningbo, Zhejiang, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Mario Cucinella, Elizabeth Francis, Angelo Agostini
  • In Collaboration With

    Eva Cantwell, Richard Ceccanti, Francesco Fulvi, Caterina Maciocco, Giuseppe Perrone, Natalino Roveri (model maker), Luca Stramigioli, Debora Venturi (environmental strategies)
  • Team

    Prof. Brian Ford, Prof. Saffa Riffat, Rosa Schiano, Mauricio Hernandez Tascon
  • Area

    1300.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2008
  • Photographs

Midwest Commodity Exchange Center / Interdesign Associates + Hugo Kohno Architect Associates

22:00 - 8 February, 2016
Midwest Commodity Exchange Center / Interdesign Associates + Hugo Kohno Architect Associates, Courtesy of interdesign associates & Javier Callejas Sevilla(Courtesy of Hallucinate Design Office)
Courtesy of interdesign associates & Javier Callejas Sevilla(Courtesy of Hallucinate Design Office)

Courtesy of interdesign associates & Javier Callejas Sevilla(Courtesy of Hallucinate Design Office) Courtesy of interdesign associates & Javier Callejas Sevilla(Courtesy of Hallucinate Design Office) Courtesy of interdesign associates & Javier Callejas Sevilla(Courtesy of Hallucinate Design Office) Courtesy of interdesign associates & Javier Callejas Sevilla(Courtesy of Hallucinate Design Office) +23

  • Architects

  • Location

    Foreign Trade Building, 2nd Ring Road Yanxian Commerce Jingjidai, Beilin, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, 710021
  • Area

    326.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of interdesign associates & Javier Callejas Sevilla(Courtesy of Hallucinate Design Office)

Open Call: AIM Bamboo Architecture Competition for the Village of Rural Makers

11:00 - 5 February, 2016
Open Call: AIM Bamboo Architecture Competition for the Village of Rural Makers

The countryside carries so much emotional weight and nostalgia through thousands of years of time. Currently, more than 100 villages disappear every day in China. On the other hand, the rise of city living standards and GDP require a more suitable tourist experience in the surviving villages. How can we combine the inheritance and preservation of villages with a countryside tourism business model? To provide a better ecosystem for lodge and inn, farm, organic agriculture and handmade crafts is the challenge that we are facing now!

People's Daily HQ / Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University

22:00 - 4 February, 2016
People's Daily HQ / Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University, Courtesy of Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University
Courtesy of Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University

Courtesy of Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University Courtesy of Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University Courtesy of Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University Courtesy of Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University +43

  • Architects

  • Location

    Jintai West Road No.2 Courtyard Building 6, Chaoyang, Beijing, China, 100026
  • Design Team

    QIAN Feng, ZHANG Li, ZHUANG Fang, KONG Hui, WANG Wei, ZHOU Wenxiang, YU Han, LI Meng, ZHAO Ran
  • Area

    88856.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Architects and Engineers Associates of Southeast University

Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Gottlieb Paludan to Design World's Largest Waste-to-Energy Plant in Shenzhen

12:30 - 4 February, 2016
Schmidt Hammer Lassen and Gottlieb Paludan to Design World's Largest Waste-to-Energy Plant in Shenzhen, Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects
Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and Gottlieb Paludan Architects have won an international competition to design the world's largest waste-to-energy plant on the outskirts of Shenzhen, China. The new "Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plan will be capable of incinerating 5000 tonnes of waste per day - "one third of the waste generated by Shenzhen's 20 million inhabitants every year," according to the team. In addition to incinerating waste and generating power, the plant will serve as a place to teach residents about its purpose. 

Harvard GSD Students Win International Urban Design Competition for Shanghai Rail Station

06:00 - 3 February, 2016
Harvard GSD Students Win International Urban Design Competition for Shanghai Rail Station, Courtesy of The Harvard Graduate School of Design
Courtesy of The Harvard Graduate School of Design

A team of urban design students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design has won first prize in UD Shanghai’s 2015 International Student Urban Design Competition for the Shanghai Railway Station Area. Through the competition, the team reimagined the “Shanghai Railway Station, one of the city’s four major railway stations and one of China’s major rail hubs, in the context of the next round of the Shanghai Master Plan (2020 to 2040). In particular, the competition asked teams to promote walkability and smoother traffic patterns,” where the station creates a topographical gap, “and to consider thee-dimensional urban development around the station.”

Courtesy of The Harvard Graduate School of Design Courtesy of The Harvard Graduate School of Design Courtesy of The Harvard Graduate School of Design Courtesy of The Harvard Graduate School of Design +21

The Folded Apartment / MoreDesignOffice

19:00 - 2 February, 2016
The Folded Apartment / MoreDesignOffice, © Raphael Olivier
© Raphael Olivier

© Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier +20

With "Ordos – A Failed Utopia," Raphael Olivier Captures the Contradictions of Chinese Construction

09:30 - 1 February, 2016
With "Ordos – A Failed Utopia," Raphael Olivier Captures the Contradictions of Chinese Construction, © Raphael Olivier
© Raphael Olivier

For the past quarter century, China’s rapidly expanding economy provided architects with an almost endless supply of building opportunities. Easy lending allowed for an exponential rise in infrastructure projects – China used more concrete in three years than the United States used in the entire twentieth century. But in a country where the number of cities with over a million inhabitants jumped from 16 in 1970 to 106 in 2015, the speed of development enabled high profile, but flawed, experiments alongside the many necessary building projects. There is perhaps no better example of this phenomenon than the city of Ordos. The Inner Mongolian metropolis – home to 100,000 – which sprang from the northern desert in the mid-2000s was designed for over a million inhabitants. The reality of the city came to public attention in 2009 when Al Jazeera wrote about an early uncertainty in the Chinese real estate market.

After living in China for a number of years, photographer Raphael Olivier finally gave in to the nagging urge to see Ordos for himself. Visiting last year, he found a well-maintained city that is still largely uninhabited. I interviewed Olivier about the project, his views on Ordos, Chinese prosperity, and what it means to photograph architecture.