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An Interview with Zhang Lei, AZL Architects

“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

Nan Gallery / AZL architects

  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Location: Nanjing Railway Station, 264号 Longpan Road, Xuanwu, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 210037
  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Project Team: Zhang Lei, You Shaoping, Yuan Zhongwei
  • Area: 230.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2007
  • Photographs: Nacasa & Partners

© Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners © Nacasa & Partners

Brick House / AZL architects

  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Location: Gaochun, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Project Team: Zhang Lei, Shen Kaikang, Zhang Ang
  • Collaborator: Gaochun Architectural Design Office
  • Area: 580.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan

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

Three Courtyard Community Centre / AZL architects

  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Location: Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China
  • Architects: AZL architects - Zhang Lei
  • Project Team: Zhang Lei, Shen Kaikang, Yang Hefeng
  • Collaborator: Yangzhou City Planning & Design Institute
  • Area: 1900.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2009
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan

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

Concrete Slit House / AZL architects

  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Location: Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • Architects: AZL architects - Zhang Lei
  • Project Team: Zhang Lei, Meng Fanhao, Cai Menglei, Lu Yuan, Tang Xiaoxin
  • Collaborator: Architectural Design & Planning Institute, Nanjing University
  • Area: 270.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan

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

Northstar Changsha Delta Project Exhibition Hall / AZL architects

  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Location: Changsha, Hunan, China
  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Project Team: Zhang Lei, Zhou Suning, Wang Liang
  • Collaborator: Architectural Design Institute, Hunan University
  • Area: 3000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Yao Li

© Yao Li © Yao Li © Yao Li © Yao Li

Zhengdong District Urban Planning Exhibition Hall / AZL architects

  • Architects: AZL architects
  • Location: Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China
  • Project Team: Zhang Lei, Qi Wei, Guo Donghai, Cai Zhenghua
  • Collaborator: Architectural Design & Planning Institute, Nanjing University
  • Area: 8450.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Yao Li

© Yao Li © Yao Li © Yao Li © Yao Li