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Encountering the “Weirdness” in China: A Talk with the Guangzhou Circle Architect Joseph di Pasquale

Recently, lots of controversial "Jumbos" have been erected on mainland China, leading most of their creators, architects from Western countries, to be placed at the centre of public discussion. Furthermore, China’s President Xi Jinping's recent comment about "no more weird buildings" has led the Chinese central government into this whirlpool. What can western landmark makers learn from all of this?

We met Joseph di Pasquale, architect of the Guangzhou Circle, in Milan some days after “weirdness” became the most used word in Chinese architecture. In the following edited talk with interviewer Yifan Zhang, the architect of the latest landmark in South China's largest city discusses his new project, the real circumstances in China, and the future for foreign architects.

Student Bathrooms / Wuyang Architecture

  • Architects: Wuyang Architecture
  • Location: Jian Chuan Lu, Minhang Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
  • Architect: FENG Lu
  • Engineering: SRIBS
  • Area: 503.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: SU Shengliang, Courtesy of Wuyang Architecture

© SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang © SU Shengliang

Cipea Villa / Sanaksenaho Architects

  • Architects: Sanaksenaho Architects
  • Location: Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • Design Team: Matti Sanaksenaho,Pirjo Sanaksenaho, Jari Mänttäri, Maria Isotupa, Tommi Terästö, Jaana Hellinen
  • Structural Engineering: Tero Aaltonen +local engineers
  • Area: 800.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Tuomas Uusheimo

© Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo © Tuomas Uusheimo

Passive House Bruck / Peter Ruge Architekten

  • Architects: Peter Ruge Architekten
  • Location: Changxing, Huzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • Architect in Charge: Peter Ruge, Kayoko Uchiyama, Matthias Matschewski, Jan Müllender, Alejandra Pérez Siller, Duan Fu
  • Area: 2200.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Jan Siefke

© Jan Siefke © Jan Siefke © Jan Siefke © Jan Siefke

Vanke Sales Center Façade Renovation / Shenzhen Upright & Pure Architectural Design Co., Ltd

  • Architects: Shenzhen Upright & Pure Architectural Design Co., Ltd.
  • Location: Zhengzhou, Henan, China
  • Area: 4600.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Shenzhen Upright & Pure Architectural Design

Salvaged Stadium: Harvard GSD Student Yaohua Wang's Proposal for Post-Olympic Adaptation

Olympic host cities around the world are increasingly facing issues of post-event sustainability, with many stadiums and arenas falling into disuse and dilapidation mere months after the games. The soaring costs associated with constructing Olympic facilities have plagued organizers for decades, resulting in an all-time low number of bids from host cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics, according to the International Olympic Committee. Yaohua Wang is a recent architecture graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a native of China - where facilities constructed for the 2008 Beijing Olympics are slowly being converted to new post-Olympic uses, typified by the transformation of the Watercube into the city's newest waterpark. Wang's thesis project, Salvaged Stadium, delves into the afterlife of Olympic facilities, providing a solution for arena reuse with potential for application worldwide. 

Find out how Wang re-evaluated the Olympic development problem after the break

© Yaohua Wang © Yaohua Wang © Yaohua Wang © Yaohua Wang

Container Sale Office / Atelier XÜK

  • Architects: Atelier XÜK
  • Location: Qingpu, Shanghai, China
  • Design Team: Liukenan Zhangxu Lujun Sunwenliang Chenxiao Lizheyuan Liang Wangqian
  • Area: 260.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Su shengliang

© Su shengliang © Su shengliang © Su shengliang © Su shengliang

TCA Think Tank Creates "Parasite Pavilion" With Five-Day Workshop in Venice

Casting complex shadows and engulfing visitors in a series of maze-like spaces, the Parasite Pavilion was constructed as part of the Synergy & Symbiosis event at the 2014 Venice Biennale, which showcased the best of the UABB Shenzhen and Hong Kong Biennale from 2005 to 2014. Based on the Bug Dome pavilion, a similar experiment from Hong Kong 2009, constructed by Weak! Architects as an icon of "illegal architecture," this new pavilion is the product of an intensive five day workshop, with the cooperation of architects and students from Europe, Australia, and China. Read on after the break to learn more about the Pavilion and Workshop.

Shizimen Central Business District / 10 Design

  • Architects: 10 Design
  • Location: Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
  • Chief Design Architect: Gordon Affleck
  • Area: 640000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Kerun Ip, Burega Farnell

© Kerun Ip © Kerun Ip © Kerun Ip © Kerun Ip


  • Architects: PANORAMA
  • Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  • Area: 850.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Ng Siu Fung

© Ng Siu Fung © Ng Siu Fung © Ng Siu Fung © Ng Siu Fung

Stone Art Gallery / O- Office Architects


Aedas' Leaf-Shaped Sales Gallery Nears Completion in Shanghai

Aedas is nearing completion on the sales gallery for the mixed-use Shanghai Greenland Qingpu Xujing District complex. The gallery, shaped as a leaf, is designed to fit with the "clover leaf" concept of the nearby Qingpu Xujing Conference and Exhibition Centre, in which it will be connected with by a pedestrian bridge. 

Overview. Image Courtesy of Aedas Shopping Mall. Image Courtesy of Aedas Shopping Mall. Image Courtesy of Aedas Hotel. Image Courtesy of Aedas

SND Fashion Store / 3GATTI

  • Architects: 3GATTI
  • Location: Chongqing, Chongqing, China
  • Architect in Charge: Francesco Gatti
  • Area: 180.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Shen Qiang

© Shen Qiang © Shen Qiang © Shen Qiang © Shen Qiang

Zhangjiagang Town River Reconstruction / Botao Landscape

  • Architects: Botao Landscape
  • Location: Zhangjiagang City Price Control Bureau, 70 Renmin Middle Road, Zhangjiagang, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, 215600
  • Area: 65000.0 sqm
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Botao Landscape

Courtesy of Botao Landscape Courtesy of Botao Landscape Courtesy of Botao Landscape Courtesy of Botao Landscape

From the Ground Up: China and the New Vertical City

By the end of 2015, one in three of the world’s tallest buildings will be in China. With its government planned cities, the Chinese policy often favors high-density development, and some of the most radical and experimental urban design ideas can be applied in China - take for example the recent joint winner of the Shenzhen Bay Super City competition, Cloud Citizen, which takes on a more integrated and interconnected approach to vertical cities. In this article on The Guardian, Nicola Davison investigates how at this critical time in the country’s development, architects and urban planners may choose to move away from previous urban models of isolated skyscrapers, towards a more humane environment that seeks to emulate nature and create diverse public spaces. Read the article in full here

TED Talk: How to Reinvent the Apartment Building / Moshe Safdie

Nearly 50 years after realizing Habitat ’67, when the need for high quality affordable housing is at an all time high, Moshe Safdie is expanding on his ideas first explored in the stacked Montreal utopia to discover just how natural light and the feeling openness can be achieved in today’s megalopolises. Watch as Safdie makes a case to do away with the high-rise in the short TED Talk above.