The Architecture of Kowloon Walled City: An Excerpt from 'City of Darkness Revisited'

01:00 - 10 April, 2014
Courtesy of 'City of Darkness Revisited'
Courtesy of 'City of Darkness Revisited'

In light of the release of a second, revised edition of City of Darkness -- the authoritative text on Kowloon Walled City, which you can help Kickstart here -- authors Greg Girard and Ian Lambot have shared an excerpt from City of Darkness Revisited

The early phases of the Walled City were characterised by predictable building typologies and the buildings were constructed on the principle of squatters’ rights, with random construction on spots of available land by whoever got there first. Alleyways and passages evolved – unplanned – into the established ‘map’ of the City, which would remain until it came down. A basic electric supply existed, increasingly burdened by illegal connections that frequently overloaded the system, and the few standpipes supplied the only water. As the need to accommodate the ever growing residential and commercial populations forced it to in the 1960s, the building typology of the Walled City made the leap from two- to three-storey residential structures to taller, six- to seven-storey ones. This represented an important threshold, because at these greater heights the buildings unavoidably became more complex and required greater labour to realise, reinforced concrete, more investment, and so on. They also required a different way of living. Water had to be transported up to the higher floors by hand. Likewise the propane gas canisters that furnished fuel to cook or heat water.

Courtesy of 'City of Darkness Revisited' Courtesy of 'City of Darkness Revisited' Courtesy of 'City of Darkness Revisited' Courtesy of 'City of Darkness Revisited' +10

HENN Wins Competition to Design Wenzhou High-Rise

00:00 - 10 April, 2014
© HENN
© HENN

HENN has been selected to design a 160-meter, mixed-use tower for a new Central Business District in the eastern China metropolis of Wenzhou. Located in close proximity to the Ou Jiang river, on the district’s southern edge, the Wenzhou Tower hopes to serve as the gateway to the new city development. 

Hangzhou Xixi National Wetland / Sunlay + RHINESCHEME GmbH

01:00 - 9 April, 2014
© Shu He Photography
© Shu He Photography

© Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography © Shu He Photography +29

Museum of the Fangshang Geopark / BIAD

01:00 - 9 April, 2014
© Chaoying Yang
© Chaoying Yang
  • Architects

  • Location

    Fangshan, Beijing, China
  • Architects in Charge

    Yinong Li,Yaolei Sun
  • Design Institute

    Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, 6A8 Studio
  • Area

    10000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2009
  • Photographs

    Chaoying Yang

© Chaoying Yang © Chaoying Yang © Chaoying Yang © Chaoying Yang +25

The Screen / Li Xiaodong Atelier

01:00 - 9 April, 2014
© Martijn de Geus
© Martijn de Geus

© Martijn de Geus © Martijn de Geus © Martijn de Geus © Martijn de Geus +20

Wuxi Memsic Semiconductor Headquarter / UDG China

01:00 - 8 April, 2014
Courtesy of UDG China
Courtesy of UDG China
  • Architects

  • Location

    Xishan, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Qian Qiang, Li Xiaojian, Chi Xiaoyu
  • Area

    14057.36 sqm
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of UDG China

Courtesy of UDG China Courtesy of UDG China Courtesy of UDG China Courtesy of UDG China +22

Exploring Post Earthquake Reconstruction: 2013 AIM Competition Awards Announced

01:00 - 7 April, 2014
Winning Entry: Architecture Renovation Award. Image Courtesy of AIM
Winning Entry: Architecture Renovation Award. Image Courtesy of AIM

Architects in Mission (AIM) recently announced the winners for their 2013 competition with the topic, Post Earthquake Reconstruction, Ya’an Sichuan - Rebuild Panda’s Hometown from the EarthquakeThe Ya'an Earthquake occurred at 08:02 Beijing Time on the 20th April 2013. The epicenter was located in Lushan County, Ya'an, Sichuan, about 116km (or 72 miles) from Chengdu (along the Longmenshan Fault) in the same province that was hit heavily by the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. For this year's competition, AIM asked participants to pay particular attention to the master planning of the Snow Mountain Village, whilst developing new business models to encourage economic growth for local villagers. See the four winning entries after the break.

Hualien Residences: BIG's Most Mountainous Housing Project Yet?

01:00 - 7 April, 2014
© BIG
© BIG

Bjarke Ingels Group has unveiled their latest - and certainly greenest - "mountainous" housing project (for previous examples, see: Mountain Dwelling and 8 House). Although still in progress, Hualien Residences, a beach resort housing complex in Taiwan, will consist of green "landscape stripes" that resemble mountains themselves. The project, which incorporates walking paths, underground jogging paths, and an observation point, has already been recognized as a finalist in the 2014 MIPIM awards for its use of design to encourage healthy, active lifestyles for the complex's primarily older residents. 

© BIG © BIG © BIG © BIG +41

An Interview with MAD Architects' Ma Yansong: Constructing Icons, Identity & China's Future Cities

01:00 - 3 April, 2014
Ma Yansong, MAD Architects. Image © Edoardo Giancola
Ma Yansong, MAD Architects. Image © Edoardo Giancola

I look into myself, trying to express myself. I think sometimes maybe you have an idea from a dream. It sounds ridiculous but you draw something out of your dream. Where does this dream come from? It must somehow relate to some situation. So what I'm interested in is to keep discovering what is really inside of me. I'm not a genius that from the first moment I already know what I want. - Ma Yansong -

Beixinqiao district, in Beijing, is changing fast: the ancient urban tissue is being demolished as new high-rises are growing.Located in this environment, Ma Yansong’s office sits within an old and anonymous construction. In contrast to its exterior, the inside is characterized by wood, white walls and plants that transform the place into a sophisticated environment.International young architects are busy modeling new organic-shaped buildings on the other side of the world; meanwhile a golden fish swims in the eternal loop of the “fish tank” in the centre of the room.

In the following interview, Ma Yansong explains contemporary cities as environments that are out-of-scale with nature. He believes a new approach must be used, one that breaks the monotonous “chessboard” of contemporary Urban China and re-establishes the balance between human beings and the natural world.

Z Gallery / O-OFFICE Architects

01:00 - 3 April, 2014
© Likyfoto
© Likyfoto

© Likyfoto © Likyfoto © Likyfoto © Likyfoto +26

Refurbish of TYJ Office Building / Shenzhen Ingameoffice Ltd

01:00 - 1 April, 2014
Courtesy of Shenzhen Ingameoffice Ltd
Courtesy of Shenzhen Ingameoffice Ltd

Courtesy of Shenzhen Ingameoffice Ltd Courtesy of Shenzhen Ingameoffice Ltd Courtesy of Shenzhen Ingameoffice Ltd Courtesy of Shenzhen Ingameoffice Ltd +48

SZ-HK Biennale-Silo Reconversion / O-OFFICE Architects

01:00 - 31 March, 2014
© O-office & Maurer United
© O-office & Maurer United
  • Architects

  • Location

    Chiwan Road, Nanshan, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
  • Design Team

    Jianxiang He, Ying Jiang, Thomas Odorico, Zilong Liang
  • Concept

    Ying Jiang (O-office Architects), Marc Maurer (Maurer United Architects), Teemu Hirvilaammi (Lassila\Hirvilammi Architects)
  • Area

    2662.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    O-office & Maurer United

© O-office & Maurer United © O-office & Maurer United © O-office & Maurer United © O-office & Maurer United +27

Shenzhen Maritime Base and Sports Schools / 2A2 Design Department, Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD)

01:00 - 31 March, 2014
© Yang ChaoYing
© Yang ChaoYing

© Yang ChaoYing © Yang ChaoYing © Yang ChaoYing © Yang ChaoYing +43

Silo-top Studio / O-OFFICE Architects

01:00 - 28 March, 2014
© Likyfoto
© Likyfoto

© Likyfoto © Likyfoto © Likyfoto © Likyfoto +20

Juxing Tower Showroom / People's Architecture Office

01:00 - 27 March, 2014
Courtesy of People’s Architecture Office (PAO)
Courtesy of People’s Architecture Office (PAO)
  • Architects

  • Location

    Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
  • Principal

    Hezhe, James Shen, Zangfeng
  • Design Team

    Yang bin, Lian junqin
  • Area

    450.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of People’s Architecture Office (PAO)

Courtesy of People’s Architecture Office (PAO) Courtesy of People’s Architecture Office (PAO) Courtesy of People’s Architecture Office (PAO) Courtesy of People’s Architecture Office (PAO) +20

3XN Designs “DreamCenter” Entertainment Hub for Shanghai

01:00 - 26 March, 2014
© 3XN Architects
© 3XN Architects

Danish practice 3XN Architects will begin construction this year on an IMAX theater, retail and creative office complex for the massive DreamCenter entertainment district on Shanghai’s West Bund. Stressing the importance of the “red carpet” experience, 3XN will incorporate a “Shanghai version of the Spanish steps” which will be used for film premieres, festivals and other cultural events.

Vanke Orange City Sales Center / Sunlay Design Group

01:00 - 26 March, 2014
© Shu He
© Shu He
  • Architects

  • Location

    Beijing, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Zhang Hua
  • Design Team

    Fan Li, Tan Qingjun, Sun Rui, Zhang Yong
  • Area

    5100.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Shu He

© Shu He © Shu He © Shu He © Shu He +26

Zhongxun Times / 10 Design

01:00 - 26 March, 2014
Courtesy of 10 Design
Courtesy of 10 Design
  • Architects

  • Location

    Chongqing, China
  • Design Team

    Gordon Affleck, Brian Fok, Lukasz Wawrzenczyk, Frisly Colop Morales, Jason Easter, Nick Chan, Rita Pang, Ryan Leong, Dan Narita, Jon Martin
  • Area

    130000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of 10 Design

Courtesy of 10 Design Courtesy of 10 Design Courtesy of 10 Design Courtesy of 10 Design +34