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AR Issues: Architects Don't Invent, They Transform

09:30 - 2 March, 2015
AR Issues: Architects Don't Invent, They Transform, Courtesy of The Architectural Review
Courtesy of The Architectural Review

ArchDaily is continuing our partnership with The Architectural Review, bringing you short introductions to the themes of the magazine’s monthly editions. In this editorial from AR’s February 2015 issue, AR Editor Catherine Slessor reflects on Álvaro Siza's ouevre, from his early work in Évora to his latest effort in China. Though the latter is admittedly elegant, Slessor concludes that in comparison to his older transformative designs the recent incarnation of "brand Siza" is a "predictable triumph of style over content."

The great Portuguese Modernist Fernando Távora once remarked "Style is not of importance; what counts is the relation between the work and life, style is only the consequence of it." His friend and protégé Álvaro Siza echoed this sentiment when he said: "Architecture does not have a pre-established language nor does it establish a language. It is a response to a concrete problem, a situation in transformation, in which I participate. In architecture, we have already passed the phase during which we thought that the unity of language would resolve everything. A pre-established language, pure, beautiful, does not interest me."

Xinglong Visitor Center / Atelier Alter

21:00 - 23 February, 2015
Xinglong Visitor Center / Atelier Alter, Courtesy of Atelier Alter
Courtesy of Atelier Alter

Courtesy of Atelier Alter Courtesy of Atelier Alter Courtesy of Atelier Alter Courtesy of Atelier Alter +42

  • Architects

  • Location

    Xing Long Cun, Gonghe Xian, Hainan Zangzuzizhizhou, Qinghai Sheng, China
  • Principals in charge

    Xiaojun Bu, Yingfan Zhang
  • Project Architect

    Luotao Bai, Xiaoli Sun (China Northeast Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute Co. Ltd)
  • Design Team

    Yong Zhang, Rui Liu, Kai Qin,Tongwei Liu, Zhenwei Li, Bida Wei, Haifeng Zhang
  • Local Architect

    China Northeast Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute Co.Ltd
  • Area

    168379.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

AD Interviews: Xiaodu Liu / URBANUS

01:00 - 23 February, 2015

At the end of 2014, we had the opportunity to catch up with Xiaodu Liu, one of the three founding partners of Chinese firm URBANUS. Telling us about the role of architects in today's society - especially in China - he discusses how the creativity which URBANUS is known for plays a part in the business of their practice: "Innovation is actually everything for URBANUS, because the firm is doing projects for very challenging jobs. That's the only way we do marketing; we have to do something creative, otherwise we don't have any marketing tools to get something more conventional... we push ourselves to the limit."

Connected to this, he sees intellectual exchange as the foundation of their success, a mechanism that has allowed them to eschew more traditional marketing: "We have some people similar to us, that are well connected, people understand our work and support our work and they like us. Then we have that network and people refer to us and they actually bring jobs to us... networking is more like in the academic level - a more intellectual exchange."

Watch the full interview above and check out our past coverage of URBANUS below.

Nanshan Wedding Center. Image © Meng Yan & Wu Qiwei Maillen Hotel And Apartment. Image © Wu Qiwei Tulou Housing Guangzhou. Image © Iwan Baan Library of South University of Science and Technology of China. Image © Alex Chan +5

An Interview with Liu Xiaodu, Urbanus

10:30 - 19 February, 2015
An Interview with Liu Xiaodu, Urbanus, Nanshan Wedding Center/ Partner in charge: Meng Yan. Image © Meng Yan & Wu Qiwei
Nanshan Wedding Center/ Partner in charge: Meng Yan. Image © Meng Yan & Wu Qiwei

“If you don’t know or really didn’t study the local culture, do universal design. That’ll keep the quality. If you want to do something that you don’t know, there is a big chance that it’s going to fail and have a bad impact on the city and the people here. Do it in your own way. If you do something good and beautiful back home, you should do exactly the same type and put it here. That’s also a good contribution because you show good architecture quality… Do something universal!” - Liu Xiaodu, Shenzhen, 2013

Founded in 1999, Urbanus is led by its trio of partners Meng Yan, Wang Hui and Liu Xiaodu, all of whom studied first in China and then abroad in the USA before returning to their native country at the very beginning of its construction boom. In this interview Liu Xiaodu discusses the changing realities of Chinese architecture education, the beginnings of their firm and the positive side to the “chaos” of the country's current urban expansion.

Diwang Park/ Partner in charge: Meng Yan, Liu Xiaodu (now demolished). Image Courtesy of Urbanus Maillen Hotel And Apartment / Partner in charge: Meng Yan. Image © Wu Qiwei Maillen Hotel And Apartment / Partner in charge: Meng Yan. Image © Wu Qiwei OCT Loft Renovation / Partner in charge: Liu Xiaodu, Meng Yan. Image Courtesy of Urbanus +12

XJTLU Becomes First Chinese Architecture Course with Unconditional RIBA Accreditation

00:00 - 17 February, 2015
XJTLU Becomes First Chinese Architecture Course with Unconditional RIBA Accreditation , XJTLU's Administration Information Building, completed in 2013 by Aedas. Image Courtesy of Aedas
XJTLU's Administration Information Building, completed in 2013 by Aedas. Image Courtesy of Aedas

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has awarded unconditional RIBA Part 1 accreditation to the undergraduate program at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) in Suzhou, making it the first Chinese architecture program to be certified by the UK architecture body. The accreditation marks another first for XJTLU's partner university at Liverpool, which pioneered the RIBA accreditation system by becoming the first certified course in the world in 1906, and officially marks the program at XJTLU as on a par with other architecture schools around the world.

Lone Ranger Hot Dog Shop / Linehouse

01:00 - 17 February, 2015
Lone Ranger Hot Dog Shop / Linehouse, © Benoit Florençon
© Benoit Florençon

© Benoit Florençon © Benoit Florençon © Benoit Florençon © Benoit Florençon +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    Wai Ma Lu, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
  • Area

    19.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

TaiwanGlass Donghai Office Building / WZWX Architecture Group

01:00 - 16 February, 2015
TaiwanGlass Donghai Office Building / WZWX Architecture Group , © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra I FG+SG © Ingmar Kurth © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG © Fernando Guerra I FG+SG +23

  • Architects

  • Location

    Donghai, Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China
  • Architects in Charge

    Richard Wang, Stephen Wang
  • Project Team

    Chiou Huei Lin, Philip Kwong, Hao Li, Jian Fei Chen
  • Area

    3200.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014
  • Photographs

Construction Begins on OPEN's Pingshan Performing Arts Center in Shenzhen

01:00 - 15 February, 2015
Construction Begins on OPEN's Pingshan Performing Arts Center in Shenzhen, Courtesy of OPEN Architecture
Courtesy of OPEN Architecture

The winning entry in a competition for Pingshan's first theater, Beijing-based OPEN Architecture's Pingshan Performing Arts Center has broken ground in Shenzen. The 1350-capacity theatre is located in the city's new urban district, and slated for completion by the end of 2015.

Read more about the project and view selected images after the break.

Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture Courtesy of OPEN Architecture +27

Kids Museum Of Glass / Coordination Asia

01:00 - 12 February, 2015
Kids Museum Of Glass  / Coordination Asia , Courtesy of Coordination Asia
Courtesy of Coordination Asia

Courtesy of Coordination Asia Courtesy of Coordination Asia Courtesy of Coordination Asia Courtesy of Coordination Asia +29

  • Architects

  • Location

    G+ Park, 685 Changjiang West Road, Baoshan, Shanghai, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Tilman Thürmer
  • Area

    2000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015

Yanqing Grape Expo / Archea Associati

01:00 - 11 February, 2015
Yanqing Grape Expo / Archea Associati, © Cristiano Bianchi
© Cristiano Bianchi

© Cristiano Bianchi © Cristiano Bianchi © Pietro Savorelli © Pietro Savorelli +41

  • Architects

  • Location

    Yanqing, Beijing, China
  • Design Team

    Archea Associati, 
Laura Andreini, Marco Casamonti, Silvia Fabi, Giovanni Polazzi
, Luana Carastro, Francesco Giordani,
Stefano Marcinkiewicz, Marco Mugnai, Mattia Mugnaini, Eleonora Prestifilippo, Feng Xiancheng
  • Area

    15000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

Baita Italia / SLOW Architects

01:00 - 10 February, 2015
Baita Italia / SLOW Architects, © Zhou Ruogu
© Zhou Ruogu

© Zhou Ruogu © Zhou Ruogu © Zhou Ruogu © Zhou Ruogu +19

Zaha Hadid and ADPI Unveil Plans for World’s Largest Passenger Terminal in Beijing

00:00 - 5 February, 2015
Zaha Hadid and ADPI Unveil Plans for World’s Largest Passenger Terminal in Beijing , © ZHA / Methanoia
© ZHA / Methanoia

ADP Ingeniérie (ADPI) and Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) have unveiled designs for what will be the world’s largest airport passenger terminal - the Beijing New Airport Terminal Building. The Daxing scheme, based off the bid-winning planning concept by ADPI, hopes to alleviate traffic from Beijing’s existing Capital Airport, which is operating beyond its planned capacity.

“Initially accommodating 45 million passengers per year, the new terminal will be adaptable and sustainable, operating in many different configurations dependent on varying aircraft and passenger traffic throughout each day,” stated ZHA in a press release. “With an integrated multi-modal transport centre featuring direct links to local and national rail services including the Gaotie high speed rail, the new Daxing airport will be a key hub within Beijing’s growing transport network and a catalyst for the region’s economic development, including the city of Tianjin and Hebei Province.”

An Interview with Zhang Lei, AZL Architects

01:00 - 3 February, 2015
An Interview with Zhang Lei, AZL Architects, Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel / AZL Architects. Image © Yao Li
Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel / AZL Architects. Image © Yao Li

“We have to try to work with scale and memory. I think in the last twenty years the main problem is that we lost the 归宿感 [sense of belonging]. The people here have been moving from house to house for a long time, the result is that we don’t have a feeling of home… even if you are staying in a nice house or villa you don’t consider it as an ideal or permanent home where you could stay. This might be considered the problem. More than ten years ago we used to have that feeling, the sense to belong to a specific space. We used to live in neighbourhoods where we had a social background, a community, now you don’t have any community, you don’t see the neighbors any more. Now Chinese people are becoming lonely, they are losing that feeling and becoming 'homeless'.” - Zhang Lei, Nanjing, 2013

Model Animal Research Center of Nanjing University / AZL architects. Image Courtesy of AZL Architects Slit House / AZL architects. Image © Nacasa & Partners Nanjing Wanjing Garden Chapel / AZL Architects. Image © Yao Li CIPEA No.4 House / AZL architects. Image © Yao Li +17

C&C Design Creative Headquarters / C&C Design

01:00 - 2 February, 2015
C&C Design Creative Headquarters / C&C Design, Courtesy of C&C Design
Courtesy of C&C Design

Courtesy of C&C Design Courtesy of C&C Design Courtesy of C&C Design Courtesy of C&C Design +18

  • Architects

  • Location

    Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  • Designer

    Peng Zheng
  • Area

    600.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013

China’s Pearl River Delta Overtakes Tokyo as World’s Largest Urban Area

00:00 - 28 January, 2015
China’s Pearl River Delta Overtakes Tokyo as World’s Largest Urban Area, The Pearl River Delta's urban growth in 1973 and 2003. Image © Flicker CC user NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The Pearl River Delta's urban growth in 1973 and 2003. Image © Flicker CC user NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

China’s Pearl River Delta has surpassed Tokyo in both size and population, making it the largest urban area in the world, according to the World Bank. The colossal megapolis - a conglomerate of several cities, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Foshan and Dongguan - is a central component to China’s manufacturing and trade industries. 

It is now home to 42 million - more people than the countries of Canada, Argentina or Australia. And, considering nearly two-thirds of the East Asia region’s population (64%) is still “non-urban,” the area is expected to grow exponentially. 

Zhong Huan Plaza Art Center / CAA

01:00 - 28 January, 2015
Zhong Huan Plaza Art Center / CAA , Courtesy of CAA
Courtesy of CAA

Courtesy of CAA Courtesy of CAA Courtesy of CAA Courtesy of CAA +30

  • Architects

  • Location

    Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China
  • Collaborators

    Cui Heran, Zhang Fanwei, Zhangpan, Lin Yun, ChenFei
  • Area

    540.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

Chinese Company Constructs the World's Tallest 3D Printed Building

00:00 - 26 January, 2015
Chinese Company Constructs the World's Tallest 3D Printed Building, Image via australiandesignreview.com
Image via australiandesignreview.com

Once again, Chinese company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co has expanded the capabilities of 3D printing. After constructing ten houses in under twenty-four hours last year, now they are back with both the world's tallest 3D printed building - a five-story apartment block - and a 1,100 square meter mansion with internal and external decoration to boot.

On display in Suzhou Industrial Park in Jiangsu province, the two buildings represent new frontiers for 3D printed construction, finally demonstrating its potential for creating more traditional building typologies and therefore its suitability for use by mainstream developers.

A close-up of the construction system. Image via www.3ders.org Image via australiandesignreview.com Image via www.3ders.org Image via australiandesignreview.com +7

First Images Released of Henning Larsen Architects' Yuhang Opera

00:00 - 25 January, 2015
First Images Released of Henning Larsen Architects' Yuhang Opera, © Henning Larsen Architects
© Henning Larsen Architects

Coinciding with their tenth anniversary of the Royal Danish Opera, Henning Larsen Architects has unveiled plans for a new Chinese Opera house in Yuhang. The project, sited in “the middle of a lake, on display to the entire city,” will serve as the centerpiece of an expansive new cultural district north of Hangzhou. It’s design, described by Henning Larsen to be more “playful” than the Copenhagen Opera, will feature a unique geometric facade and sloping roof, backdropped by a waterfront recreational park.