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Tsao & McKown: Developing a New Kind of Chinese City

China's rapid urbanisation has meant not only the speedy growth of cities but also the disappearance of traditional Chinese architecture. Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown (of Tsao & McKown) find this particularly troubling and so developing a new kind of Chinese city. These pedestrian friendly live-work communities would exist in stark contrast to the high-rise cities that dot the contemporary Chinese landscape. But it hasn't all been easy. Read the full Wall Street Journal article here: "Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown Bring New Eco-Friendly Designs to China."

In Progress: The Qingdaobei Station / AREP Architect + MaP3 Structural Engineering

  • Architects: AREP Architect , MaP3 Structural Engineering
  • Location: Licang, Qingdao, Shandong, China
  • Structural Analysis And Inspection: SSDI
  • Construction Documents: BIAD
  • General Contractor: CSCEC
  • Photographs: Courtesy of MaP3

Courtesy of MaP3 Courtesy of MaP3 Courtesy of MaP3 Courtesy of MaP3

Bubble Building / 3GATTI Architecture Studio

The Bubble Building, a "renovation of a common, old and unattractive building" in the centre of Shanghai, is a simple design containing complex environmental qualities. Unlike a conventional retrofit or renovation, 3GATTI's proposal places inflatables made of white antibacterial technical outdoor nylon, in front of the windows on the existing building. Their concept was to "create an icon-building, a kind of landmark very easy to recognize, a kind of sculpture with a strong character able to detach itself from the boring cityscape" with the ultimate aim to attract customers to rent both the office and commercial spaces.

Apple Patents Glass Cylinder Design

Apple has successfully secured a patent for the cylindrical, glass entrance to its Shanghai store. After trademarking the design and layout of its retail stores last January, this is one more battle Apple has won for copyrighting its signature look.

More on the patented design after the break.

Reviving Beijing's Hutongs with Micro Installations

The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright documents the current trend of micro-scale installations spurring new life into the historic hutongs of Beijing and gaining support from the local communities, eager to reject the economic pressures of destroying/rebuilding. The local government’s endorsement, however, comes as a surprise - especially considering its fervent impetus to raze these areas just a few years ago. Read the full article here: Designers Use 'Urban Acupuncture' to Revive Beijing's Historic Hutongs.

Tales Pavilion / Luca Nichetto

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud © Jonathan Leijonhufvud © Jonathan Leijonhufvud © Jonathan Leijonhufvud

HALO: Swedish Students' Solar Decathlon Entry

Designed and built by 25 students from Chalmers University in Sweden, HALO is a socially sustainable home for four students, running on renewable energy from the sun. HALO was designed using one underlying concept: shared space is double space.  

Courtesy of Team Sweden Courtesy of Team Sweden Courtesy of Team Sweden Courtesy of Team Sweden

American Architects Win International Competition for "Cultural Mall" in China

A looping mixture of culture and commerce has won Joel Sanders Architect and FreelandBuck first prize in the international competition hosted by the largest media and publishing company in China, Phoenix Publishing and Media Group (PPMG).

Their 80,000 square meter winning proposal for the new Kunshan Phoenix Cultural Mall divides a large urban block into four 'cultural cores,' each five stories high and respectively housing a theater, fitness club, education center, and exhibition halls. The podium, which sits upon the glass-clad cores, spirals the length of the perimeter (comprised of stores, restaurants and cafes) and ultimately plateaus at an open park where the public and Phoenix employees would share a common space. 

Taihu New Town Primary School / MINAX

© Lu Zhigang
© Lu Zhigang
  • Architects: MINAX
  • Location: Wuxi, China
  • Area: 32830.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Lu Zhigang

© Lu Zhigang © Lu Zhigang © Lu Zhigang © Lu Zhigang

Deyang School for Deaf & Intellectually Disabled Children / China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute Corp. Ltd

© Liu Yi © Liu Yi © Liu Yi © Liu Yi

Pure Hardcore Icons Manifesto Exhibition

‘Pure Hardcore Icons Manifesto Exhibition’ will be on display from Sept 25 to October 7 as part of this year’s Beijing Design Week.

Office complex Haokang / Archiplein

© Frédéric Henriques
© Frédéric Henriques

© Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques

Harbin Cultural Center / MAD Architects

  • Architects: MAD Architects
  • Location: Harbin Xiangfang Cultural Center, Zhujiang Road, Xiangfang, Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China, 150090
  • Directors: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
  • Area: 1800000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: MAD Architects

Render. Image © MAD Architects © MAD Architects Render. Image © MAD Architects © MAD Architects

Artist Studios / Knowspace

Courtesy of Knowspace
Courtesy of Knowspace
  • Architects: Knowspace
  • Location: Songzhuan, China
  • Area: 1488.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Knowspace

Courtesy of Knowspace Courtesy of Knowspace Courtesy of Knowspace Courtesy of Knowspace

Chaoyang Park Project / MAD Architects

© MAD Architects
© MAD Architects

As a continuation to his “Shan-Shui City” concept, which envisions a “city of mountains and water,” Ma Yansong of MAD Architects has proposed an interpretation of China’s ancient natural philosophy in the contemporary city: the Chaoyang Park project. Situated in the world’s second largest city park and surrounded by a typical Chinese business district, the Chaoyang Park project seeks to infuse the “vigorous Shan-Shui culture” with a new urban typology that unites architecture and nature as a single entity.