John McAslan + Partners has been selected to design a Botanical Gardens and Research Center in Dongguan, China. The scheme features a large gridshell biodome which engages with landscaped mounds both inside and outside the structure. Around the base of the roof structure, a ribbon of glass will provide views which connect these interior and exterior landscapes.
The following are excerpts from one of 41 interviews that student researchers at the Strelka Institute are publishing as part of the Future Urbanism Project. In this interview, James Schrader speaks with Adam Snow Frampton, the co-author of Cities Without Ground and the Principal of Only If, a New York City-based practice for architecture and urbanism. They discuss his work with OMA, the difference between Western and Asian cities, his experiences opening a new firm in New York, and the future of design on an urban scale.
James Schrader: Before we get to future urbanism, I thought it would be interesting to look a bit into your past. Could you tell me about where your interest in cities came from? Were there any formative moments that led to your fascination with cities?
Adam Snow Frampton: I was always interested in cities, but not necessarily exposed to much planning at school. When I went to work at OMA Rotterdam, I was engaged in a lot of large-scale projects, mostly in the Middle East and increasingly in Asia, where there was an opportunity to plan cities at a bigger scale. In the Netherlands, there’s not necessarily more construction than in the US, but there is a tradition of thinking big and a tendency to plan. For instance, many Dutch design offices like OMA, West 8, and MVRDV have done master plans for the whole country.
The culmination of an international competition for Kinmen County has resulted in five winning and honorable mention schemes that promise to use architecture as a means of elevating the county’s national identify as a maritime gateway. Responding to the need for expansion and the desire to establish the port as a tourism and recreation destination, the Kinmen Harbor Bureau challenged architects to a two-stage competition for an energy-smart, low-carbon, and possibly expandable port that could host a variety of passenger services.
Repurposing antiquated buildings is on the rise in China, and this proposal by Tianhua Architecture Design Companyserves as a prime example. Planned for a site in the Hexi district of Tianjin, the Shanghai-based practice will soon transform a 1917 textile mill into a contemporary art gallery and private museum.
The architects, who have adapted their design to emphasize the gridded layout and high ceilings of the existing structure, plan to insert a garden courtyard deep into the building’s core. This will not only counterpoint the structure’s industrialized aesthetic, but will provide natural light deep into the interior while preserving the exiting cruciform layout.
schmidt hammer lassen architectshas unveiled a new cultural hub for Ningbo’s Labour Union. Planned to serve both the city and the union’s nearly three million members, the “Home of Staff” will unite two stepped complexes of support, health, education, culture and leisure facilities with a half a kilometer long central park.
Twenty years ago, one of the world’s most unusual and unexpected pieces of architecture was razed to the ground: Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City, the most densely populated area on earth. Squalid, dark, and labyrinthine, the informal city was not only a hotbed for organized crime, but also a vibrant community of commerce and hope. Now, the Wall Street Journal has released this short documentary, bringing the city back to life and revealing why it holds a special place in world culture today.
Construction has commenced on MAD’s Chaoyang Park Plaza within one of Beijing’s largest public parks and central business district. A continuation of Ma Yansong’s “Shan-Shui City” concept, which aims reintroduce nature into the urban realm, the mixed-use complex reinterprets natural formations illustrated in traditional Chinese paintings as contemporary “city landscapes.”
“Like the tall mountain cliffs and river landscapes of China, a pair of asymmetrical towers creates a dramatic skyline in front of the park,” described MAD. “Ridges and valleys define the shape of the exterior glass facade, as if the natural forces of erosion wore down the tower into a few thin lines.”
amphibianArc has been announced as winner of the Ningbo Yinzhou Southern CBD Portal Planning competition. Commissioned by the same developers of the Ningbo Museum designed by Wang Shu, the "transit-oriented" proposal aims to become the "driving force" of urban life in the masterplan's fourth and final phase.
As part of the CA Group’s lecture series, “Architour,” one of the Executive Board of SeARCH, Bjarne Mastenbroek will give a lecture at 15:30 on April 25th at Tongji Architectual Design (Group) Co., Ltd.(TJAD) auditorium in Shanghai. For 2013 through 2015, “Architour” has as its theme “New Force of Architecture – Leading Young Architects”: each year, the CA Group will select nine young, global leaders in architecture (four from Asia and five from the West) to lecture on topics that cross typologies and disciplines, from architectural design, urban planning to interior design. Sou Fujimoto, Christian Kerez, Thomas Heatherwickand Ensamble Studio were part of the series’ speakers.
Construction has begun on the new Nanjing Jianye District office tower in China. Designed by UDG China, the multi-level complex will house hundreds of government workers throughout almost 100,000 square meters of office space.