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Steven Holl Wins Competition for Qingdao Culture and Art Center

Steven Holl Architects has been selected as winner, besting OMA and Zaha Hadid Architects, in an invited competition for the new Culture and Art Center of Qingdao City. Located in the heart of Qingdao’s new extension, which is planned for a population of 700,000, the two million-square-foot winning proposal features a conglomerate of four art museums situated amongst a landscape of reflecting pools and gardens which are all connected by a continuous “Light Loop” that moves visitors throughout the site. 

Read on for the architect’s description...

Mountains of Construction Debris Accumulate Outside Chinese Cities

Chinese city-dwellers are waking to find eight stories of construction debris outside of their homes. Over two billion tons of waste, outside Beijing and other major cities, is a result of a booming construction industry. "There's no systematic way to deal with [the garbage]," says Wilson W.S. Lu, architecture professor at the University of Hong Kong, "The illegal dumping is everywhere." Recycling efforts have just begun, but local activists believe it will require a radical paradigm shift in the way Chinese residents reclaim material. Read the full New York Times article, "China's Mountains of Construction Rubble."

Sky SOHO Leasing Showroom / GAP Architects

  • Architects: GAP Architects
  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • Principal designer’s name: Raymond Lau
  • Design team members: Raymond Lau, Yandong Ren, Jiabao Zhao
  • Area: 350.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Raymond Lau & Jerry Yin

© Raymond Lau & Jerry Yin © Raymond Lau & Jerry Yin © Raymond Lau & Jerry Yin © Raymond Lau & Jerry Yin

2013 Shenzhen Biennale, UABB (Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism /Architecture)

Now in its 5th edition, the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB) is the only biennial exhibition in the world to be based exclusively on the themes of urbanism and urbanization and is co-organized by Shenzhen and Hong Kong, making it one of the most important events on its type in the region.

The UABB has developed strong alliances with partners both local, regional and from all over the world. Among them include globally renowned cultural institutions like Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), MAXXI, OMA, Droog Design, International Architecture Biennale of São Paulo, MIT, MoMA New York, and The Berlage.

The curator for this year is Ole Bouman, and amajor attraction of the 2013 Shenzhen Biennale is the creative and dramatic transformation of an old Shenzhen glass factory into one of the Biennale’s core venues for this year. Spearheaded by Ole Bouman, the UABB’s curator and creative director, the project adhered to his manifesto statement of “Biennale as risk.” The revitalisation effort not only provides a unique and functional exhibition space for the Biennale but it reclaims a piece of heritage and history. As a broader objective, the makeover is also a step in redefining Shenzhen’s identity. In completing the urban intervention, Mr. Bouman now calls it a ‘Value Factory’ to manufacture ideas and knowledge.

More after the break.

Placid Mogan Cottage / genarchitects

  • Architects: genarchitects
  • Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • Architect in Charge: Kong Rui, Fan Beilei
  • Interior Designer: Jia Shaojie
  • Landscape Architect: Wang Xuanpeng
  • Area: 1055.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Hou Bowen

© Hou Bowen © Hou Bowen © Hou Bowen © Hou Bowen

Camper Showroom / Neri&Hu Design and Research Office

  • Architects: Neri&Hu Design and Research Office
  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • Architect in Charge: Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu
  • Associates: Alex Mok, Peter Eland
  • Designers: Lina Hsieh, Jacqueline Min, Ni Duan
  • Senior Associate – Graphics: Christine Neri
  • Senior Project Manager: Siwei Ren
  • Graphic Designer: Hao Zhou
  • Senior Associate – Product Designer: Brian Lo
  • Senior Product Designer: Jean-Philippe Bonzon
  • Area: 300.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Dirk Weiblen

© Dirk Weiblen © Dirk Weiblen © Dirk Weiblen © Dirk Weiblen

Aix Arôme Café / One Plus Partnership Limited

  • Architects: One Plus Partnership Limited
  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Designers Involved: Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung
  • Photographer: Ajax Law Ling Kit, Virginia Lung, Jonathan Leijonhufvud
  • Area: 150.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited

Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited Courtesy of One Plus Partnership Limited

HENN Wins Competition to Build Cenke Tower in Taiyuan

Berlin-based Henn Architekten has been chosen as the winner of the architectural competition to design the 280-meter Cenke Tower in Taiyuan. Located on a north-south axis, the mixed-use tower will include office, hotel, and retail space. 

SOHO China's Zhang Xin on Balancing Design and Commercial Viability

The list of architects that have collaborated with Zhang Xin’s development company, SOHO China, reads like the roster of an architectural dream team (which includes Zaha Hadid, Yung Ho Chang, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma, Kazuyo Sejima, Herzog & de Meuron, Thom Mayne, David Adjaye, Toyo Ito and others). So it’s no surprise that the self-made billionaire lectured to a packed house at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design last Thursday. Xin spoke about her commitment to and love of design, explaining that her company’s mission is to bring a variety of architectural languages to China. And though SOHO’s projects are certainly experimental, Xin contends that her developer mindset actually helps meliorate the architect’s propensity to take the experiment too far—all without sacrificing the impressive and iconic forms of SOHO’s building portfolio.

Watch Zhang Xin link her practice in real estate to larger global issues and catch a glimpse of two Zaha Hadid-designs currently under construction: Wangjing SOHO and Sky SOHO.

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan

Arthouse / Joey Ho Design

  • Architects: Joey Ho Design
  • Location: Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • Other Designer: Yuki Leung, Momoko Lai
  • Area: 771.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Yong Chang Wu

© Yong Chang Wu © Yong Chang Wu © Yong Chang Wu © Yong Chang Wu

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