Bubble Building / 3GATTI Architecture Studio

01:00 - 12 October, 2013
Bubble Building / 3GATTI Architecture Studio, Skyline View. Image Courtesy of 3GATTI
Skyline View. Image Courtesy of 3GATTI

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

00:00 - 10 October, 2013
Apple Patents Glass Cylinder Design, Courtesy of Apple
Courtesy of Apple

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

00:00 - 9 October, 2013
Reviving Beijing's Hutongs with Micro Installations, Above Beijing's historic hutongs. Image © Ivan Walsh
Above Beijing's historic hutongs. Image © Ivan Walsh

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.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange HQ / OMA

00:00 - 8 October, 2013
© Philippe Ruault
© Philippe Ruault
  • Architects

  • Location

    Bin He Da Dao, Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong Sheng, China
  • Partners in Charge

    Rem Koolhaas, David Gianotten
  • Collaborators

    Ellen van Loon, Shohei Shigematsu
  • Associate in charge

    Michael Kokora
  • Area

    180000.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault © Philippe Ruault +20

Tales Pavilion / Luca Nichetto

01:00 - 8 October, 2013
Tales Pavilion / Luca Nichetto, © Jonathan Leijonhufvud
© Jonathan Leijonhufvud

© Jonathan Leijonhufvud © Jonathan Leijonhufvud © Jonathan Leijonhufvud © Jonathan Leijonhufvud +27

HALO: Swedish Students' Solar Decathlon Entry

01:00 - 4 October, 2013
HALO: Swedish Students' Solar Decathlon Entry, Courtesy of Team Sweden
Courtesy of Team Sweden

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 +23

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

00:00 - 4 October, 2013
American Architects Win International Competition for "Cultural Mall" in China, Courtesy of Joel Sanders Architect
Courtesy of Joel Sanders Architect

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

01:00 - 3 October, 2013
© Lu Zhigang
© Lu Zhigang
  • Architects

  • Location

    Wuxi, China
  • Area

    32830.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

© Lu Zhigang © Lu Zhigang © Lu Zhigang © Lu Zhigang +24

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

01:00 - 3 October, 2013
Deyang School for Deaf & Intellectually Disabled Children  / China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute Corp. Ltd, © Liu Yi
© Liu Yi

© Liu Yi © Liu Yi © Liu Yi © Liu Yi +18

Red Wall / 3Gatti Architecture Studio

01:00 - 28 September, 2013
Red Wall / 3Gatti Architecture Studio, © Shen Qiang & Daniele Mattioli
© Shen Qiang & Daniele Mattioli
  • Architects

  • Location

    Shanghai, China
  • Chief architect

    Francesco Gatti
  • Project manager

    Summer Nie
  • Collaborators

    Zhengxin Ni, Michele Ruju, Charles Mariambourg, Yanmin Sun, Furion Huang, Karen Cheung
  • Structural engineer and local institute

    Shanghai Orient Architectural design & Research Institute CO. LTD.
  • Area

    14300.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2008
  • Photographs

© Shen Qiang & Daniele Mattioli © Shen Qiang & Daniele Mattioli © Shen Qiang & Daniele Mattioli © Shen Qiang & Daniele Mattioli +13

Pure Hardcore Icons Manifesto Exhibition

00:00 - 26 September, 2013
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

00:00 - 21 September, 2013
© Frédéric Henriques
© Frédéric Henriques

© Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques +12

Tianzhoushan Tea House / Archiplein

00:00 - 18 September, 2013
© Frédéric Henriques
© Frédéric Henriques

© Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques © Frédéric Henriques +24

Harbin Cultural Center / MAD Architects

01:00 - 18 September, 2013
Harbin Cultural Center / MAD Architects, © MAD Architects
© MAD Architects
  • 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

Render. Image © MAD Architects © MAD Architects Render. Image © MAD Architects © MAD Architects +34

Artist Studios / Knowspace

00:00 - 14 September, 2013
Courtesy of Knowspace
Courtesy of Knowspace
  • Architects

  • Location

    Song Chuan Nan Lu, Kunshan Shi, Suzhou Shi, Jiangsu Sheng, China
  • Area

    1488.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of Knowspace

Courtesy of Knowspace Courtesy of Knowspace Courtesy of Knowspace Courtesy of Knowspace +17

Chaoyang Park Project / MAD Architects

01:00 - 10 September, 2013
© 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. 

China Now, from Nowness

00:00 - 7 September, 2013

China Now on Nowness.com

In the latest video from Nowness, director Thomas Rhazi documents the complicated architectural scene in China - focusing on how the country holds onto its identity despite the "frenetic" pace of its expansion and globalization. Shaway Yeh sums up the situation nicely: "what does China really look like, what does China represent? No one knows, because it's a place that's still in flux, it's constantly reshaping." Lyndon Neri, however, points to Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu as a possible answer, saying that he "created something quite amazing in Ningbo, it had a new way of looking at a building in a Chinese way... what he actually did was a modern interpretation of Chinese architecture." No matter where you stand on China's modernization, the video is a beautiful depiction of the historical meeting the modern.

How to Bring China's Ghost Towns Back to Life

00:00 - 6 September, 2013
How to Bring China's Ghost Towns Back to Life, The empty development of Kangbashi/Ordos in Inner Mongolia (China). Image © Tim Franco, Flickr User shanghaisoundbites
The empty development of Kangbashi/Ordos in Inner Mongolia (China). Image © Tim Franco, Flickr User shanghaisoundbites

In this article, originally published in Metropolis Magazine's Point of View blog as "The Real Problem with China's Ghost Towns" , author Peter Calthorpe explains the problems of these cities, predicts their grim future, and explores how the thoughtful planning behind the city of Chenggong could provide a more sustainable alternative. 

 We’ve all seen the reports on “ghost town” developments in China, showing acres of empty high-rise apartments and vacant shopping malls. These barren towns seem particularly ironic in a country planning to move 250 million people from the countryside to cities in the next 20 years. But this massive, unprecedented demand has been distorted by a number of factors unique to China. Flawed financial incentives for cities and developers, along with the poor phasing of services, amenities, and jobs create most of the problems. In addition, China’s emerging middle class is very comfortable (perhaps too comfortable) investing in real estate, so people often buy apartments in incomplete communities but don't move in, expecting that values will rise, or that they will live there someday. The result is a string of large, empty developments that remain speculative investments rather than real homes and communities. [See-through buildings are the worry now, but the real problems may come when they are full.]

While it’s hard to get data on vacancy levels in China, there are certainly many anecdotal examples across the country. An all-too-typical example is Chenggong, the new town planned for 1.5 million just outside of Kunming in the west. This freshly minted city boasts the growing Yunnan University, currently with 170,000 students and faculty; a new government center; and an emerging light industrial area. Under construction are the city’s new high-speed rail station and two metro lines connecting the historic city center.